Client Spotlight

Croydon BID

Croydon BID

Croydon BID, partnered with MRI Software in 2013 to gain valuable insight into the trends of retail footfall in Croydon.



Croydon Business Improvement District (BID) strives to develop Croydon Town Centre and maximise its potential as an attractive space for its employees, residents and visitors. The BIDs team are driven by outputs and determined to deliver for their 545 members, day in and day out.

The challenges faced by Croydon BID are synonymous with many business improvement districts across the UK; the need for granular footfall data in order to create agile, forward-thinking strategies, even in the most challenging of circumstances.

Croydon BID, therefore, partnered with MRI Software in 2013 to gain valuable insight into the trends of retail footfall in Croydon. The data and insights delivered by MRI have become a key pillar in the BID’s vision, offering an evidence based approach to future strategic decision making, whilst also providing a platform and solution to drive positive footfall growth.

In 2021, the need for data driven solutions to shed light and clarity on town centres trends is more important than ever. With the demands that COVID-19 has placed on retailers and businesses across the UK and vacancy rates continuing to rise, MRI’s expertise in providing, analysing and explaining footfall results has provided confidence and solutions for the Croydon BID.

MRI Software has supported us on our journey and given us the ability to provide footfall trends to our members and highlight positive and instrumental ways we have driven footfall upwards. Using the MRI data, we have been able to understand whether an event or activity has supported the growth in footfall and more importantly, where it has not and the possible reasons why.

Matthews Sims,
Chief Executive at Croydon Town Centre BID

The Problem

The BID prides itself in its ability to evolve to meet the needs of its membership even in the most challenging of circumstances. Prior to its partnership with MRI Software, Croydon BID had a lack of clear and precise data to inform its members and justify its business strategy. It required insight that represented not only the current state of the high street, but detailed footfall analysis on a more granular level to monitor changes and trends. The need was a clear; developing initiatives, driven by footfall data, that would allow a more in-depth and agile approach to supporting the businesses the BID represented.

The Solution

MRI Software provided valuable insight into the footfall trends within Croydon, offering a data driven based approach to decision making and future strategies. Croydon BID uses the MRI OnLocation dashboard to analyse week on week, year to date and year on year measures, which provide an at a glance footfall trends within the town centre.

The thorough data sets allows Croydon BID to understand the current position of the town centre in comparison to its competitors, whilst also providing a clear indication of what investment is required and where to add value to its members. The partnership with MRI Software has produced years of insightful intelligence on footfall, creating a better understanding of the trends within an ever changing retail environment.

Croydon BID is actively involved in the vacancy rate survey produced by MRI. Currently, Croydon’s regeneration plans are extensive and as a result, this has led to an increase in vacancy rates across the town centre. In tracking the businesses which are currently vacant it is able to compare against national and Greater London trends. As the retail industry forecasts an unfortunate rise in vacancy rates across high streets, being able to analyse and understand Croydon town centre in more depth allows the BID to ensure future opportunities are acted on quickly and decisively.

The Results

Access to MRI’s data is openly available to all of Croydon BIDs members, improving the communication and operations of the BIDs businesses. The delivery of the latest footfall results allows all members, no matter their size, to understand the current outlook, offering a chance to plan for the future. These footfall figures have also been integrated into a monthly eBulletin and are part of a developed distribution list for those that request the full footfall report, which is issued weekly and monthly.

Being able to drill down on data and analyse it further by camera provides clarity as to where footfall comes from by day and hour, and compare between the day and night time economy. In doing so the BID are able to direct resource to support the town centre.

The impact of Covid-19 on town and city centres made MRI’s data more invaluable than ever before. One of a BIDs key focuses is to attract footfall, which was drastically altered in 2020. The MRI data monitoring the levels of visitors coming into the town centre allowed Croydon BID to plan and proactively react throughout the pandemic. This was integral in ensuring a consistent approach to creating a space which is safe for people, who live, work and enjoy the area during difficult times for businesses.

This highlights the incredible value that MRI’s resources had for Croydon BIDs members in understanding, with greater clarity, how to adapt to the demands of the town.

We commit to MRI’s intelligence every year because the data, insight, expert advice and support we receive is second to none. Above all, they are partners in every sense of the word. They are always available, always willing to support, present to our board and speak to our members. We wouldn’t be who we are without them.

Matthews Sims,
Chief Executive at Croydon Town Centre BID


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