Shopper count

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    Council Watcher

    As with all figures – there are statistics and more statistics and depending on how they are read can give the answer you want- in this case, ‘evidence’ of increased footfall.

    1. The counter is almost directly opposite the doorway to the old Greenwoods-a place that had ‘street residents’ living most of January- every time they went in and out of their ‘home’, they would have been counted.
    2. A large funeral in St Giles would have attracted higher than usual footfall.
    3. Any increase attributable to the football game would have been one off’s that size crowd is not the norm.
    4. Would it also not include the night time revellers for New Year’s Eve?

    A counter in this location is only one very small piece of evidence to show increased footfall in the town- a people counter located at the bus station would give a reading that showed bus travel– one similar at both railway stations and use of car parking data would give a more realistic overall picture.

    Any town planner or retail analyst will tell you that multiple measurement points are essential to gain a ‘picture’ of a town so come on Council get more accurate figures of footfall.

    The one bit of information that has not been stated is “Did the retail businesses see an upturn in their trade during the period?” or where all the increased footfall from town browsers only.



    I think we need to see more counters across the town to be able to read anything in to these figures.

    As a fairly regular user to the town centre the breakdown of the day to day figures to me do not make sense. On a Sunday in January the town is empty bar the people who live in close proximity to the centre. The car parks are empty.

    I cannot accept that there are more people on a Tuesday than there are on a Market Day Monday.

    I would estimate that two thirds of footfall coming down Regent Street exit via Bank Street. From this, I would have expected them to enter the town up Bank Street, therefore being counted twice.

    You really have to include the town centre traders to get a better picture. When all said and done it is turnover in £’s that count.



    I agree. I don’t know how you could get an accurate figure. When working in a town shop years ago, we would check whether the takings were up or down from the previous few years & mark down if there was a reason for change year on year, ie Easter, school holidays, sales, Christmas parade. Of course that was pre-computer age.

    Bus & rail tickets and car parks tickets might show what time of day is busiest & some sort of footfall statistics but obviously that wouldn’t account for how many were in a car & people walking into town or those using taxis.



    Looking at the figures quoted from Sunday to Saturday the total is 70,531. Is this an average of the 4 weeks, as the 4 weekly total is 282,135?

    Other than a Sunday which is to be expected,the lowest footfall of the week is for a Monday which I find hard to believe.

    The Destination Manager at WCBC also believes that Monday after Saturday is the busiest day.

    In August 2017 he reported the data shows the importance of events in the town, with a correlation showing that Saturdays/Street Festivals and the Monday Market are the busiest times.

    Perhaps Joe Bickerton could explain more about the present data. I hope WCBC are not paying for this data.



    It’s funny because years & years ago for a GCSE Geography study, about 50 of us positioned ourselves all around town & conducted a pedestrian count for about half an hour to get a rough idea of where was busy and where wasn’t. I remember being positioned by the bench that’s near Greggs now & it was bloody busy even on a weekday morning. We ended up generating a heat map back in school of the busiest and quietest areas of town.

    It’s crazy to think they are still using this methodolgy all these years in a digitised manner but only using a single location.

    They definitely would benefit measuring bus station footfall & perhaps the bridge from Eagle’s Meadow.

    People were saying about all the different type of pedestrians that cause a spike in footfall data. It’s almost like you need to apply visitor profiling like how advertisers and retailers track people’s browsing habits based on cookies online. Unfortunately (but probably rightly so) due to strict privacy & data protection laws you can’t do the same profiling to actual physical people. However, if you could it would be incredibly insightful. So you’d be able to profile the different people into different segments, such as funeral attendees (going to church – probably not spending) & football fans (going to the pub & the bookies then to the match – good for certain town businesses but not general shops), residents of the middle of town (not specifically going shopping every time they leave their dwelling) then actual shoppers who have come into town with the express purpose of spending money in bricks and mortar stores.

    If you were an existing retailer or a new shop looking to set-up on any given Wrexham street you’d want to know about that 4th segment of qualified purchasers. Then of course you’d want to break that down into further demographics men, women, age, family status, wealth – depending entirely on the type of shop you are running.

    Of course this is a major struggle for in-town retailers – the disadvantage in information availability versus what is seamlessly available for an online retailer.

    So the whole thing reveals the folly of footfall data alone to measure the popularity of a town centre. It could measure a herd of stampeding cattle for all it knew & measure that as an upturn in visitors. Bull in a china shop anyone?

    You only need to look at that Greenwoods location to mark another 2 major visitor destination biases within that area.

    1) Post Office – people just interested in going to post a letter/parcel or other PO business then leave without spending money elsewhere.

    2) Nationwide – people just interested in doing their banking at a very popular Building Society then leaving.

    I know I’m completely splitting hairs here, but there are a myriad of reasons people could be in town with no major spending intention.

    The problem is that Wrexham overall isn’t set-up as a reputable shopping destination. Visitor numbers being toted up at shopping destination places like Broughton or Cheshire Oaks would signal more legitimate volumes of people who have real spending intention.

    It’s not that Wrexham doesn’t have a significant population who are affluent with major spending intention – it’s just the town centre has to compete for £ these days with all the supermarkets, online, the previously mentioned shopping destinations & more attractive big cities like Chester, Liverpool & Manchester. Sadly all of those mean a net outflow of wealth from Wrexham rather than an increased spend within town in local businesses, meaning the town centre remains poor and undesirable as a retail environment.


    Council Watcher

    Matt you have reminded me of my school project in Regent Street that I did something similar 50!! years ago- in the shopping side of Regent Street from the traffic lights in Grosvenor Road down to High Street there are only two things that have remained unchanged – St Marys Catholic Church and the Horse and Jockey.

    If my memory services me right the only shop that has remained throughout the time is H. Samuel the jeweller although it has moved location further along the road. The only other two with the same trade are Lloyds and Barclays Banks.

    The town was certainly busier then as vehicles could drive down Regent Street and High Street so that boosted shopping.



    Council Watcher/ Matt

    Reading your posts on how it used to be,prompts me to post on the demise of High Street and the Butchers Market.

    High Street trade took a bashing when the Council sold off Eagles Meadow for re development. The loss of the footfall from the large car park had a huge effect on trade. Not long after, the Council decided to reduce the width of High Street, despite many traders pointing out that the reduced width was too narrow. The Council stance was the plan worked on the computer. It was not long before the Council at a cost of around £80k had to increase the width by a metre as buses were not able to pass one another. Eventually this led to the bus company withdrawing bus services from the High Street, this further affected the footfall. The Council then further increased the width of the road to make provision of a bus lane for the now deceased Town Centre Shopper.

    It was nice to see the new Eagles Meadow Shopping Centre but the destruction of the rest of the town is the price we have had to pay.


    I hope you are not suggesting our council are incompetent.


    I don’t think you have to ‘suggest’ – Facts are Facts and they speak for themselves. Incompetence, whether from elected councillors or highly paid council officials, should be rewarded by a hessian bag or something Santa carries ! They are not immune, as none of us are in our daily jobs.

    Owain Glyndwr
    Owain Glyndwr

    The figures for March are going to be impressive after the St David’s day parade passes the counter!

    Didn’t the Christmas parade take this route too? The camels and reindeer would have counted as extras too.

    To be born Welsh is to be born privileged, not with a silver spoon in your mouth, but with music in your blood, and poetry in your soul.

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