Sat, 09 Sep 2006

Company offers malls help to compete

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Jakarta has seen an explosion of shopping malls in recent months amid signs of an improvement in the country's economy.

Developers and owners are counting on being able to draw in more shoppers and boost sales. The question is, how many of them will survive the tight shopping center market?

"We have noticed that more shopping centers have been built here. Competition among them must be getting tougher," said Yannick Kennel, the general manager of Footfall Asia, in Jakarta on Thursday.

Footfall, a subsidiary of Experian, the world's leading provider of retail data, analysis and consultancy, participated in the Asian Conference of Shopping Centers and Exhibition of Retail Information Solutions in Jakarta on Thursday and Friday.

Yannick said his team had been monitoring shopping centers in the capital city. "We found that none of them were using a sophisticated technology solution to measure their retail businesses."

He said that Footfall was offering information technology solutions to Indonesian shopping centers, which can report realtime data on incoming visitors, their behavior and other realtime indicators concerning visitors' activities in and around shopping centers.

Kennel said Footfall's performance indicators included "conversion rate" or the ratio of browsers who become buyers; "basket size", the average spending per buyer; "dwelling time", the amount of time consumers spend in the mall; "league table", an anonymous table of how a store is performing relative to others; and peel-off rate, the ratio of those passing the store to those who enter it.

In Europe, he said, all malls rely on technological services. In Singapore and Malaysia, almost all of the malls have been using them and in China, their usage has been increasing recently.

He said that Footfall commanded some 70 percent of the world's market share of the technological services.

"I think our products will become reliable tools for the owners of the shopping centers to measure their retail businesses. The important thing is, if they can measure them well, they can manage them well."