The 39 steps – to understanding High Street performance – Part 2

Infographic-website_900x900by Prof Cathy Parker

In last week’s blog post I mentioned the 39 research questions of our new Innovate project. Here is some more detailed information about them:

RQ1: Are the distinct town types (comparison, specialty, convenience/community) recognisable in a bigger data set?

Preliminary research strongly indicates the existence of distinct footfall signatures. But these were originally identified in our pilot data set of 50 towns, using footfall data that ended in 2014.  Now we have more towns and data spanning 2006-2016 can we find additional evidence of the town types we originally identified? If so we will conclude the typology is robust – in other words it is generalisable to a bigger sample. Continue reading “The 39 steps – to understanding High Street performance – Part 2”

The 39 steps – to understanding High Street performance – Part 1

Infographic-website_900x900This month our new Innovate project started. The project will bring big data to town and city centre decision makers, enabling them to optimise footfall whilst also improving the experience of centre users. The first stage of the project (running from now until Spring 2017) is very research focused.  Because we have over 9 years of hourly footfall data, courtesy of the project lead Springboard, the research team at the Institute of Place Management (Manchester Metropolitan University) and the University of Cardiff can really start to work out how and why town and city centres perform as they do.  Our findings will then be incorporated into a place management information system and a serious of dashboard products, built by our technology partners MyKnowledgeMap.

These new products will support decision making in towns and cities, by making important data more readily available and more easily accessible to the wide range of stakeholders who need to collaborate to build strong centres. Continue reading “The 39 steps – to understanding High Street performance – Part 1”

Footfall signatures research wins best paper prize

Nikos Ntounis shows off our best paper prize at this year’s AM conference

by Prof Cathy Parker

Our new £1m Innovate high street and retail project may have just started, but the research underpinning our successful bid for the£1m ‘bringing big data to small users’ project has been awarded a ‘best in track’ prize for retail at this year’s Academy of Marketing Conference, held at Newcastle Business School.

The research identified new footfall signatures and town types the team had found in their preliminary analysis of footfall data, provided by Springboard, who are leading the new project.  The findings were presented in a competitive paper “Radical Marketing and the UK High Street: Towards a New Typology of Towns” authored by Cathy Parker, Nikos Ntounis, Simon Quin and Ed Dargan. Continue reading “Footfall signatures research wins best paper prize”

Meet the IPM: Interview with Prof Cathy Parker


Cathy Parker is Professor of Marketing and Retail Enterprise at Manchester Metropolitan University as well as Chair of the Institute of Place Management and Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Place Management and Development. She has worked at Manchester Metropolitan since 1997 when she joined as a Senior Research Fellow. Cathy has managed over £10m of research projects – all focused upon strengthening town and city centres, in terms of their offer and governance structures and processes. Her research interests include retail, place marketing and the impact of litter upon both brand and place attitudes. Cathy is a regular keynote speaker and media commentator talking about the changing retail landscape and how town and city centres are adapting post-Internet.  Continue reading “Meet the IPM: Interview with Prof Cathy Parker”

Meet the IPM: Interview with Prof Dominic Medway

dominic medway 1

Professor Dominic Medway is an international authority on place marketing and management based with the Institute of Place Management at Manchester Metropolitan University, and Academic Editor of the Journal of Place Management and Development.

His recent research has addressed issues such as stakeholder interaction in urban place partnerships, how litter affects people’s perceptions of space, and the potential role of smell in the marketing of places. You can follow his developments on twitter @dominic_medway, and read about his latest research on the IPM website at:

Continue reading “Meet the IPM: Interview with Prof Dominic Medway”

Meet the IPM: Interview with Prof Gary Warnaby

Prof Gary Warnaby
Prof Gary Warnaby

Gary Warnaby graduated in history from the University of Newcastle in 1983. After completing postgraduate studies in marketing, he spent a few years in stores management with BHS plc in a variety of locations across the UK before settling down into higher education in 1991. Since then, he has worked at the Manchester Metropolitan University Business School, the universities of Salford and Liverpool, and is currently Professor of Marketing in the School of Materials at The University of Manchester (although he is returning to MMU Business School in August 2016).

His research interests focus on retailing and the marketing of places, with a particular emphasis on the urban context. He has published on these topics in a range of journals in both the business/management and geography disciplines. His teaching focuses on strategic aspects of retailing as well as more general marketing management.

Gary Warnaby is a fellow of the Institute of Place Management. Continue reading “Meet the IPM: Interview with Prof Gary Warnaby”

Markets Matter: Reviewing the evidence & detecting the market effect



Executive Summary

At the request of the National Association of British Market Authorities and, as part of the High Street UK2020 project, we have conducted a comprehensive review of the published evidence demonstrating, unequivocally, that markets contribute to the economic, social and political health of towns and cities. We have also conducted analyses of large footfall datasets, provided by Springboard, to show that markets add to the vitality of specific centres. Finally, we show how markets act as important catalysts for change in town and city centres. These are the 25 most important reasons why markets matter, identified in this report.

[You can download the full report from the IPM site]

Continue reading “Markets Matter: Reviewing the evidence & detecting the market effect”

IPM Bulletin archive – October 2015

Rostock (Germany): New Market
Rostock (Germany): New Market

by Simon Quin

[Become a member or friend of the IPM today to receive the IPM bulletin regularly]

This month’s Bulletin features two articles on place branding, the first calls on us to rethink the place brand whilst the second questions the place branding approach in US Rust Belt cities. The articles come as a new International Place Branding Association is launched. Also launched this month is the new Institute of Place Management Student Society. This aims to bring together students from many disciplines interested in the study of place. If you are currently a student then you will want to follow the link to the facebook group and you may want to share your thoughts with us via email (details below). Continue reading “IPM Bulletin archive – October 2015”

IPM Bulletin archive – August 2015

Rostock (Germany): New Market
Rostock (Germany): New Market

by Simon Quin

[Become a member or friend of the IPM today to receive the IPM bulletin regularly]

This month’s Bulletin includes news of a new Issue of the Journal of Place Management and Development providing more insight into the challenges presented in delivering effective place management. The articles are available free to IPM Members. We are also pleased to report that the Journal has entered the top quartile in three research areas in a leading international ranking. If you want to know more the issues and challenges involved in effective place management, place marketing or place branding, then there is still time to register for one of our three Masterclasses being held in Manchester at the beginning of October. We would also value your input and ideas on Business Improvement Districts and you can see why below. Continue reading “IPM Bulletin archive – August 2015”

IPM Bulletin archive – September 2015

Rostock (Germany): New Market
Rostock (Germany): New Market

by Simon Quin

[Become a member or friend of the IPM today to receive the IPM bulletin regularly]

If you want to develop your skills and knowledge in or share experience with others engaged in place management, then we have some great opportunities in this month’s Bulletin. The Institute is offering two new services. Firstly we can come to your town or city centre and deliver a workshop for your stakeholders that looks at how to make your centre sustainable (we are only offering this in the UK for now but we are happy to talk about going elsewhere). Secondly we have just announced our first study tour which will visit the exciting city of Berlin in June 2016. As a participant you have the opportunity to examine at first hand a number of innovative place management initiatives as well as seeing how the city is changing. In contrast to these new initiatives, this is almost the final opportunity to register for the three October Masterclasses in Place Management, Place Marketing and Place Branding and for registration on the next intake of the MSc in Place Management. We would love to have you attend and I know from personal experience, having completed the MSc a few years ago, that it is an exciting and stimulating programme to participate in. It is designed to work with your job and you can use the course to explore issues associated with work which gives a new perspective. Continue reading “IPM Bulletin archive – September 2015”