"PiinPoint has become an integral part of my role as Retail Analyst at Cushman & Wakefield Waterloo Region. The platform allows me to put together professional looking reports and provide clients with the insights they need to make real estate decisions.
I honestly don’t know how I would do my job effectively without PiinPoint."
Jessica McCabe, M.Ed.
Global convenience store chain Circle K is adding to its nearly 16,000 locations by expanding in urban markets across Canada and those markets move fast, says Jennifer Malatesta, Circle K’s real estate manager for urban locations, who handles urban development for Ontario and Western Canada.
Circle K needed an up-to-date site analysis process it could trust to make the case for new locations to the Executive Team of parent company, Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc.
“We didn’t have any software with statistical information,” Ms. Malatesta says. “Every time we tried to push through a project [the board would] say ‘well, how do you know that?’ ”
Prior to using PiinPoint, Circle K paid a company to conduct a traffic study, which manually tracked pedestrian & traffic counts on prospective locations — a process that could take up to three months and cost $1,200 per site.
“By that time, we practically lost the deal — the urban market is very, very fast, and if you don’t get in there and approve the site quickly you lose the site,” she says.
Ms. Malatesta thought, “This is insane, there’s got to be better measurements of data than this kind of device.”
Circle K turned to PiinPoint to get access to reliable and up-to-date pedestrian and traffic counts to help evaluate potential retail store locations. PiinPoint’s Mobile Location Data allowed the Circle K team to discover movement patterns of consumers quickly and easily, to identify and evaluate the best locations for its stores in urban markets. The company has used the Location Intelligence platform to evaluate about 50 sites since last fall in markets including Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver.
PiinPoint allows users to layer a wide variety of datasets together for analysis, including vehicle and pedestrian volumes, transit routes, trade areas, competitors, zoning, demographic information for visitors and residents and retail market compositions.
Using mobile location data and machine learning, PiinPoint is able to provide accurate predictions of the number of pedestrians moving around a given community. PiinPoint can also provide vehicular traffic counts as well as direction of travel for any road in North America.
PiinPoint provides consistent coverage across North America that is always up-to-date, with a median accuracy of over 81%. This allows Circle K to compare traffic counts from region to region and enables an apples-to-apples comparison regardless of market.
“With PiinPoint, you can look at zones, you can put in your criteria and say ‘maybe we should focus over here and not just there,’ ” she says.
Historical traffic studies only let you see one site location at a time. “You’re not seeing the whole picture,” she says, whereas PiinPoint allows you to see everything about a new store location, quickly, easily and accurately.
As a result, “it was easy for us to make that decision” to go with PiinPoint, she says.
With PiinPoint, Circle K is able to identify potential new store locations that had the right mix of density, traffic, and their target consumers, "before we’re going to sink $1-million into the ground”.
PiinPoint is the leader in this field “because there’s no one out there who is doing this affordably,” she says.