Jun 4, 2021
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Grosvenor co-develops footfall tool to prevent retail congestion

Jun 4, 2021

Here’s one piece of positive tech for retail. Commercial property giant Grosvenor Europe and technology firm MeltSpot have developed a digital tool to track the behaviour of visitors in shopping centres to identify areas of congestion.

Photo: Pexels

MeltSpot Crowd Analytics tracks how many visitors are in a centre, and where people congregate, in real time. The system can be used to analyse visitor flows and movement patterns, including customer frequency, visit habits and changes to walkways.

The system is currently being used in Grosvenor Europe’s 98,000 square metre Skärholmen Centrum mall on the outskirts of Stockholm. It allow the centre to act immediately, disperse congestion or queues, and ensure social distancing is adhered to. 

“By understanding how people move about the centre, we not only have the opportunity to act quickly to ensure the health and safety of visitors, but we can use the analysis to develop the services on offer in Skärholmen Centrum”, said both parties.

So how does it work? The tool tracks the behaviour of visitors and customers to provide a detailed picture of a person's movement, but without ever revealing any personally identifiable information. The tool captures signals from mobile phones and the information is immediately anonymised and encrypted, before being sent to the Cloud in a non-reversible format. The tool and process protects visitor privacy and is GDPR compliant, MeltSpot says. 

Carl Strufve, Director Nordics, Grosvenor Europe said: “We have prioritised the health and safety of tenants and visitors in our assets and by monitoring live footfall, we can help minimise the risk of spreading infections like Covid-19. The aggregated information about how visitors use the centre also gives us the opportunity to continuously improve the property”.

Alexander Bucur, CEO of MeltSpot, added: “Our technology has been used wisely by Grosvenor Europe. This has made Skärholmen Centrum a safer place. We are excited about the collaboration and are now taking the step out to launch MeltSpot Crowd Analytics for all purposes, such as measuring visitor flows, optimising queue situations and movement patterns in stores and in urban environments, not just in pandemic times”.

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