Grand Central. Credit: Hammerson
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Hammerson works with Red Ant to launch new ‘Crowd Checker’ website feature

Hammerson has worked with retail technology partner Red Ant to launch a new feature on its destinations’ websites to help customers plan their visits.

‘Crowd Checker’ provides shoppers with live updates on how popular a centre is in real time, so that they know when to visit to beat the crowds. The feature is currently live for Brent Cross, Cabot Circus and Westquay in the UK, and Les Terrasses du Port in Marseille, France, and it will shortly be rolled out across the rest of Hammerson’s flagship destinations.

Red Ant has integrated retail intelligence provider ShopperTrak’s footfall analysis API, and configured its software to enable Hammerson to provide an occupancy status based on the number of people visiting a centre at any one time.

The new feature has four statuses:

  1. ‘Now is a great time to visit the centre’
  2. ‘Now is a popular time to visit the centre’
  3. ‘The centre is really popular right now. Allow extra time’
  4. ‘Centre closed. Plan when it’s best to visit’

The safety and wellbeing of customers, colleagues and retailers is Hammerson’s number one priority, and it has introduced a range of new safety measures to its destinations. These include one way systems, clear signage to remind customers of the need to social distance, and fixed hand sanitiser stations. The new Crowd Checker feature is another example of how the business is managing footfall and supporting its customers, to ensure its destinations are safe places to visit.

Kathryn Malloch, Head of Customer Experience at Hammerson, said: “We know that some customers are still a little nervous about visiting their favourite shops, and want to beat the crowds. We’re always looking at how we can make life easier and simpler for our customers, and Crowd Checker is a great example of that, as it enables shoppers to check how popular a destination is in live time before they visit, so they can plan their trip. Not only does it enable shoppers to avoid the queues, it also helps us to manage footfall, and to ensure our destinations are safe places to visit.”

Dan Mortimer, CEO at Red Ant, said: ‘Hammerson has the welfare of shoppers, store associates and retailers at its heart, and working with the team on the launch of Crowd Checker has helped to ensure that the shopping experience is safe and enjoyable for everyone. It will make a real difference to the ongoing management of shopping centres and malls, which play a key role in the revitalisation of retail.’

For more information on Crowd Checker and what each status means, please visit the website of your nearest participating centre.

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