Jace Tyrrell, CEO, New West End Company: The West End and Mayfair is a wonderful mix, literally 200 million people come here every year. We represent the largest concentration of retail and luxury brands in the world, anchoring on these wonderful shopping streets of Bond Street, Oxford Street, and Regents Street.
We are here to really create a prosperous trading environment for our 600 businesses, and that’s about creating right environment that they trade in, it is about the right intelligence they can do business here, and is also about representing their interest to make sure the policies and the way they are operating are really good at driving economic performance.
Megan Higgins, Director, Customer and Retail Analytics, PwC: One of my favourite things about New West End Company is that their focus is on making the West End first of all the number one global shopping destination in the world, but also making it an area where people including residents, commercial officers, workers, visitors, tourists, domestic tourists want to come and spend their time.
Jace Tyrrell: Anyone in business now needs to understand their customer. Their data and insights is at the heart of that. What PwC brought to us is really exemplary. We’ve always wanted, probably, for a number of years, which brings all these data sets together in an independent way that really can assess it, analyse it, help us as the management company for the area make decisions but really importantly help our members, who get a lot of value from our insights.
Megan Higgins: What’s really interesting about the New West End Company is that they are able to get all retailors to agree to do one program of insights, effectively share their data, is a huge monumental effort. With our advanced machine learning technologies, really driving insights of who is visiting the area, what their preferences are, how do they use the area, how long do they spend in the area, are they international, are they domestic, and that has some quite tangible insights, such as we saw a large number of Japanese shoppers on Bond street. So, could those luxury retailers actually have some Japanese speakers in their store to help drive customer service and satisfaction?
If you are really trying to understand your business, you need a combination of business understanding, technology, innovation, and human insight.
We are able to create models to forecast the future and create scenarios to say if these inputs change what would be the outcome.
Jace Tyrrell: For us to lobby and represent our members, when we’re going into government, to the treasury, to the mayor or the local council, to actually evidence the impact of certain policies, certain decisions, with sharp evidential data, that will inform decisions of the future as well.
Megan Higgins: We have got the Elizabeth line opening up, a New West End Company works with organisations like ours from the local council to model what the impact of 60 million people would do the area, right down to things like, are the pavements wide enough outside the tube station, do we need to increase the pavement because we have got so many more people coming into the area?
Jace Tyrrell: I think as a chief executive running a company and representing these members, you want a sense of comfort, the decisions you are making, the recommendations you are taking to your board or to the politicians is grounded in evidence, and really I feel over the last year I feel more confident running this organization, but I think also a sense of intrigue how we are really going to use this data to inform how this part of London will evolve for the next century.