Background

Market Harborough town centre has one of the lowest vacancy rates in Britain, with only 2.5% of outlets currently standing empty (down from 4.5% at the same time last year). Until now, it has been difficult to understand what impact these improvements have had on levels of trade in the town. This will soon be possible from new technology now available in the town to measure visitor numbers across the town centre.
LDC has been counting footfall in Market Harborough since the summer of 2015.
The objective is to understand the ‘pavement’ opportunity of pedestrian volumes in different parts of the town and how this is changing over time. There are 10 devices installed in various locations, which is starting to provide rich insights as to how the town centre is used.
Below, we have listed the main questions that footfall devices can help you answer and used examples of evidence from Market Harborough.

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The footfall data for my store has definitely helped me to understand the daily trends in the number of people passing outside. I tend to vary my opening hours, so this helps me to plan for coming weeks, and I’ll be focusing on this more and more in the run-up to Christmas.
Steve Allan – MDH Sports
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Q1. How does footfall past my store change by hour, week, month? Is there a trend which can be anticipated and prepared for?

The image shows the weekly difference in footfall across the town, with a peak in footfall at the end of October when half-term, Halloween and paydays all combined.
With this information you can:
  • Anticipate demand
  • See if your store performance is affected by footfall levels
Fig 1 Market Harborough

Source: Indexed weekly counts from 10 LDC devices spread across key streets in the town, Sept-Nov 2015.

Q2. Is my shop open at the optimum times to take advantage of when passing trade is at its highest?

The black line in the image shows the number of outlets trading by hour within Market Harborough town centre.
The green and red lines show the hourly footfall on Fridays for 20th & 27th November 2015 respectively. This is generally in line with the opening hours in the town.
The red line highlights the extra footfall that was linked to the Market Harborough Christmas lights switch on event Friday 27 November from 4pm to 7pm in The Square.
With this information you can:
  • Manage your staffing levels to ensure you have the right number of staff at the right time
  • Ensure your store is open at the optimum time to take advantage of the passing trade
Fig 2 Market Harborough

Source: Hourly counts from 10 LDC devices spread across key streets in the town, Sept-Nov 2015 and LDC opening hours dataset gathered from field researchers, last 12 months.

Q3. What days / times have the highest level of footfall across the town?

Footfall in The Square shows a different pattern to other streets, with much higher volumes across the week, especially on Saturdays.
Of course, with more devices spread across the town, this picture would become even clearer, providing insight about how one end of the street differs to the other and any changes in the centre of ‘gravity’.
With this information you can:
  • Benchmark your stores performance compared to similar stores
  • Understand shopper behaviours across the town
Figure 3 Market Harborough

Source: Hourly counts from 10 LDC devices spread across key streets in the town, Mon 26th & Sat 31st Oct 2015.

Q4. What is the impact of special events on town centre footfall, and how does this differ by street?

The Christmas Market was open from 4pm on Friday 4th Dec throughout the town centre and generated an extra 1,600 people in Church Street between 7pm-8pm.
The uplift from this event was lowest on St. Marys Road.
With this information you can:
  • Anticipate demand for local events
  • Manage your staffing levels to ensure you have the right number of staff at the right time
Market Harborough graphs

Source: Hourly counts from 6 LDC devices spread across key streets in the town, Fri 27th Nov & Fri 4th Dec 2015.

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We can use the footfall data in conjunction with our sales figures to compare year on year and plan our staffing. It has been good to see that the days the shop is closed are actually the days when there is less footfall, so we were right in our opening hours decision all those years ago.
Duncan Murray – Duncan Murray Winesright179

Summary

Large national retailers have been using footfall data for many years to help increase sales and control cost. The insights from the data are proving essential in today’s rapidly changing retail landscape.
LDC’s new technology means that this is now viable for smaller / independent retailers and for those that previously were unable to justify the investment.
Schedule a demo of LDC Footfall today.

 

Benefits of LDC’s footfall device
Benefits of installing a footfall device

Footfall Market Harborough

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