Springboard is leading a ground breaking two year £1 million project with Manchester Metropolitan University and the IPM, funded by Innovate UK, the UK's innovation agency to future proof town centres.
"Our project will help high streets future proof themselves, by generating much-needed place intelligence; enabling stakeholders to develop a more relevant collective offer. Springboard is thrilled to be working with MMU that led the High Street UK 2020 project, which demonstrated retail centres with a clear collective offer, fare much better than those without." Diane Wehrle, Marketing and Insights Director at Springboard
The aim of the project is to enable town centres to maximise their trading potential and to co-exist profitably with online retailing and thrive in the age of the Internet. Led by Springboard, the project - which officially started at the beginning of August and runs for two years - comprises a consortium that includes seven UK town centres, leading retailers and leading academics.
The project will create an online interface so that retail locations can predict the outcome of interventions and trends that may affect their performance, facilitating better decision-making for retailers, owners, investors and practitioners. The aim is to enable retailers to collaborate and react, so that retail centres develop relevant customer experiences, increase footfall and consequently boost sales and profits.
The use of big data and big data analysis to bring insight at national and local levels is unique to this project. Springboard’s footfall data locations, comprising 27 billion hourly shopper footfall counts from 236 location spanning a five year period, in combination with data derived from mobile tracking nodes and open data sources.
"Just as town planning and local economic development, in the last century, reflected the widespread adoption of the car, now, our current understanding of how people choose where they shop must reflect the internet, as customers search for more convenience and speciality from physical environments. This requires retailers and other operators to cooperate in a way not previously necessary, when comparison shopping was the main attraction in locations.” Professor Cathy Parker, Chair of the Institute of Place Management at Manchester Metropolitan University and Principal Investigator for the study’s research
"The project will allow all stakeholders, such as individual market traders, multiple retailers, landlords, and Councils, to decide collectively upon collaboration interventions in their towns and then monitor their impact on both individual and collective sales, footfall and customer experience ratings." Project Manager Simon Quin