Blackburn shops on counter attack

Anisha Kara and Amy Ratcliffe check out the customer counter at Whittakers Schoolwear shop

Anisha Kara and Amy Ratcliffe check out the customer counter at Whittakers Schoolwear shop

First published in News
Last updated
Blackburn Citizen: Photograph of the Author by , Local government reporter

BUSINESSES across Blackburn town centre are using a sophisticated system to accurately count the number of visitors for the first time.

The ‘footfall counters’, which will be installed at 43 premises, use hi-tech software to register individuals entering the main retail area and where they go.

The detailed data will provide vital information as the £33million Cathedral Quarter development and new £5million bus station are built in the next 18 months. It will be fed in to Blackburn with Darwen Council’s 12-point blueprint to revive the town centre.

The scheme, costing £12,000 in the first year then £8,000 annually, is financed by Blackburn Improvement District’s budget of £1.5million raised by a special levy on firms.

BID put aside £90,000 for 'Marketing and Promoting a Vibrant Town Centre'.

The ‘Shoppertrak’ system is the latest and most sophisticated on the market. It is compatible with existing systems used by The Mall, Blackburn Market and the Townsmoor Retail Park. The council had to abandon its own ageing and less reliable system because of lack of cash to replace it.

The devices will be in public buildings, shops large and small, solicitors’ offices, pubs and cafes. The 43 will monitor individuals passing windows with information collated by central software to measure how developments affect visitors.

Comments (5)

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6:19pm Thu 24 Jul 14

Can we take a step back says...

What exactly do they mean by "use hi-tech software to register individuals entering the main retail area and where they go."
Who on earth gave you or anybody else permission to track me wherever I go?
Where are the warning notices informing people that this is taking place?
What exactly do they mean by "use hi-tech software to register individuals entering the main retail area and where they go." Who on earth gave you or anybody else permission to track me wherever I go? Where are the warning notices informing people that this is taking place? Can we take a step back
  • Score: 5

10:24am Fri 25 Jul 14

GracesDad says...

Can we take a step back wrote:
What exactly do they mean by "use hi-tech software to register individuals entering the main retail area and where they go."
Who on earth gave you or anybody else permission to track me wherever I go?
Where are the warning notices informing people that this is taking place?
Why would they need to warn you that they are tracking you in THEIR building? Don't like it then don't go there.
[quote][p][bold]Can we take a step back[/bold] wrote: What exactly do they mean by "use hi-tech software to register individuals entering the main retail area and where they go." Who on earth gave you or anybody else permission to track me wherever I go? Where are the warning notices informing people that this is taking place?[/p][/quote]Why would they need to warn you that they are tracking you in THEIR building? Don't like it then don't go there. GracesDad
  • Score: 1

7:03am Sat 26 Jul 14

woolywords says...

Years ago, when my wife managed an off-licence, at the end of her shift, she did a printout on a till roll and this showed the numbers of times the cash drawer had been opened, along with the sales made. That was over 30 years ago, so it makes no sense to be counting people in this curious way nowadays.
Surely, it's more important to be aware of the numbers of spenders in a period than those who just browse. After all, a lot of this browsing is just to visually inspect goods before going home and purchasing online. This is why Amazon is making a fortune on their sales, as they don't have to pay anywhere near the rents of town centred premises.
Years ago, when my wife managed an off-licence, at the end of her shift, she did a printout on a till roll and this showed the numbers of times the cash drawer had been opened, along with the sales made. That was over 30 years ago, so it makes no sense to be counting people in this curious way nowadays. Surely, it's more important to be aware of the numbers of spenders in a period than those who just browse. After all, a lot of this browsing is just to visually inspect goods before going home and purchasing online. This is why Amazon is making a fortune on their sales, as they don't have to pay anywhere near the rents of town centred premises. woolywords
  • Score: 2

9:37am Sat 26 Jul 14

Can we take a step back says...

@ GracesDad who asks "Why would they need to warn you that they are tracking you in THEIR building? Don't like it then don't go there."
Well apart from it being required by the Data Protection Laws, If there are no signs warning people that they were being tracked, then logically they would be unable to form the opinion of whether they wished to be tracked and therefore whether they wished to avoid the building because THEY DON'T LIKE IT!
@ GracesDad who asks "Why would they need to warn you that they are tracking you in THEIR building? Don't like it then don't go there." Well apart from it being required by the Data Protection Laws, If there are no signs warning people that they were being tracked, then logically they would be unable to form the opinion of whether they wished to be tracked and therefore whether they wished to avoid the building because THEY DON'T LIKE IT! Can we take a step back
  • Score: 3

11:08am Mon 28 Jul 14

garydavies2304 says...

we have one in our shop on darwen st it is just in the window onto the road
we have one in our shop on darwen st it is just in the window onto the road garydavies2304
  • Score: -1

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