Al Jimi Mall is Al Ain’s first shopping mall. Known as the ‘Garden City’ due to its abundance of greenery, Al Ain is the second largest city in the Abu Dhabi Emirate and is located approximately 160km east of the capital and approximately 120km south of Dubai. The Al Jimi Mall building was originally developed as a vegetable and meat market in the early 1980’s, but was renovated in 2002. It now houses over 100 tenants including Carrerfour and Home Centre.
Covering over 60,000 square metres, including a 5,000 square metre entertainment centre, Al Jimi Mall welcomes an average of 700,000 visitors each month. Housing homeware, grocery, fashion and accessories retailers, and with big plans for expansion, mall owners Aldar Properties needed a better understanding of the customers coming in and out of the mall, their journeys through the centre and their dwell time. This included looking at
peaks and troughs in traffic flows and any data that could support the analysis of specific marketing campaigns run by Al Jimi in order to drive more people into the mall.
Al Jimi had spent a number of years carrying out manual counts, using security guards located at entrance and exit points. While this provided an overall sense of how traffic was fluctuating, it soon became apparent that the level of inaccuracy could potentially skew results to such an extent that they would become meaningless. Al Jimi needed a level of reliability and accuracy that manual counting simply could not provide.
“ShopperTrak stood out as being the only provider that could provide everything that we needed. Right from the outset the relationship has been completely headache free.”
Al Jimi Mall selected ShopperTrak as the solution most suited to its requirements both now and in the future. The Mall implemented twenty sensors around its perimeters, as well as on the perimeters of main anchors, Carrefour and Home Centre which occupy 11,000 and 10,000 square metres respectively. The sensors carry out two directional counts as well as measuring dwell time.
An accurate measure of foot traffic is essential to Al Jimi, not only in terms of providing performance management information to the property owners but also to strengthen relationships with its retailers by demonstrating exactly how much traffic they are driving to their stores.
Another key use of the data has been to measure the effect of marketing campaigns as well as supporting expansion plans within the mall and helping to set and negotiate rental agreements with retailers. In fact, Al Jimi shares ShopperTrak data across all operational departments including marketing, development and leasing.
The implementation went incredibly smoothly. The technical team from ShopperTrak analysed the site to determine which locations would generate the best data. Whenever a new entrance opens the team returns to the site to carry out any repositioning.
The main challenge has been getting the most out of the system. General Manager of Al Jimi Mall, Wael El Barbary admits that they could definitely be making more of the system’s capabilities. The aim moving forward is to feed more data from external sources into ShopperTrak in order to gain
a more holistic view of the performance of the mall. This can include anything from specific marketing campaign data to sales information and conversion rates generated by individual retailers – in order to deliver a more sophisticated level of analysis.
Since installing traffic counting technology Al Jimi Mall now produces more sophisticated reports that enable mall owners Aldar Properties to monitor performance more accurately. The success of the mall has led to redevelopment plans, with hopes that Al Jimi may double in size
in the next few years.
Other future plans include working much more closely with retailers, integrating their own data within the ShopperTrak system to monitor everything from retail category and location to individual retailer performance.
“We know that the system gets even better the more information you’re able to feed into it. Our plan now is to make sure we are using ShopperTrak as a repository for multiple data feeds to ensure we are delivering the maximum level of analysis both to our retailers and to Aldar Properties.”