Landlord software firm MRI has acquired footfall data firm Springboard in a deal that could see visitor numbers used to determine retail rental prices.
UK-based Springboard provides footfall counting and AI-powered analytics using existing camera networks in retail destinations. The system continuously measures visitor activity, while capturing anonymized demographic information and identifying behavioral patterns such as dwell time.
The acquisition will be used to expand MRI’s software suite, which currently serves more than 500 retailers and owners worldwide, according to the company.
Property experts predicted in 2020 that footfall data, along with retailer turnover, would be more likely to inform post-pandemic rental prices. Property consultancy Colliers said at the time that landlords needed better footfall data to enable the change.
Colliers also spoke with landlords about using footfall data to help them get a share of the online boom. The lease model would see the data used as a metric informing rent on the basis that a store visit might lead to an online sale later. However, the model has struggled to gain traction in the pandemic and had yet to be implemented as of February this year, with retailers reluctant to acknowledge such a link.
Springboard was founded in 2002 and has the largest and most comprehensive attendance data in the industry.
“Understanding the success of retail stores and destinations in terms of the number of customers they attract and how customers use space is critical for optimizing operations,” said Diane Wehrle, director of Springboard Insights.
“For example, planning the workforce based on the number of customers helps maximize sales conversion. This information can then be used to forecast sales and determine affordability of rents for occupants and landlords. »
Patrick Ghilani, CEO of MRI, said, “Springboard is an exciting addition to the MRI family that will strengthen our retail and smart data offerings and provide customers with deeper insights to guide their business decisions.
“In light of the post-pandemic shifts in the retail landscape, in-store technology adoption has become increasingly critical, and physical locations are playing a bigger role in a redefined customer and customer experience. .”