Chadstone, The Glen, Box Hill Central and Emporium will become the first shopping centres in Australia to use heat mapping technology to monitor foot traffic to ensure customers are socially distancing.

Using WIFI data from their customers mobile phones, the shopping centres will be able to detect foot traffic numbers and the flow of the people.

Chadstone Centre Manager Michael Whitehead said “It gives us the Wi-Fi signals and responses from people’s mobile phones. What we’ve been able to do is convert that into a real life live stream.’

“As the system determines there are any areas reaching capacity it sends us a text message stating we have reached a low, medium or high level density and where.”

“You can actually see the areas in the centre which are hotter and have more density in them. Social distancing officers can be deployed to those areas and disperse them or move them to other areas.”

Whitehead said the vast majority Coffeys customers do comply but they will have the additional support of Victoria Police and PSO officers if required.

“It tends to be younger boys, teenagers that can get a bit lippy, then we have the opportunity to call security if we need to. That’s only on very rare occasions,” he says.

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Chadstone has now seen customers numbers increase by 75% as 91% of its sorts have reopened but they have worries about some stores abilities to allow social distancing.

Whitehead said “JB Hi-Fi, Kathmandu, Culture Kings and JD Sports are very popular retailers and we’re seeing some queues out the front. We’ve had additional security positioned in these areas. The other spot is outside the Apple store, they’re managing their queuing area very well.”

“We have no-stopping in that are out the front of their store and a security guard in place to ensure nobody stops in that area.”

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