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Technology Providing Clarity During Times of Uncertainty


051127 shoppping hmed 2phmedium 300x191 Technology Providing Clarity During Times of Uncertainty

With the holiday season knocking at our door, both ShopperTrak Inc. and Thompson Reuters have taken new measure to monitor consumers' shopping habits.  While their plans of attack differ, ShopperTrak implementing on the ground measures while Thompson Reuters charts activity from above, both methods promise greater market transparency.

For the past nine year ShopperTrak used cameras installed in malls' common areas to track the number of customers at a given mall on a given day.  This year they are taking things a step further using cameras to count the number of customers visiting individual stores in 225 US malls in 22 markets.  Based on data collected this month ShopperTrak is predicting retailers will be visited by 695 million individual consumers over this coming three day holiday weekend.

Thompson Reuters has come up with its own set of predictions using satellite imaging of mall parking lots for the first time this year.  Remote Sensing Metrics, LLC is providing the company with images of more than 200 mall parking lots, and then Reuters is counting the number of occupied and empty spaces.  Using this method Thompson Reuters deduced that consumer traffic at those malls was 5.8% higher last Saturday than it was the same Saturday last year (November 2009) and 11.8% higher than the same Saturday two years ago (November 2008).

While both systems are valuable to owners and those looking to invest in retail properties, I would argue that ShopperTrak's method of capturing consumer behavior is of greater value given its in-depth analysis of specific consumer trends.  For a retail owner deciding between tenants, knowing what sort of foot traffic an individual retailer would bring to a property is of significant value.

The preceding article is from one of our external contributors. It does not represent the opinion of Benzinga and has not been edited.


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