Retail Merchandiser - May/June 2012 - (Page 70)

Retail Canada A1 COUNTING SOLUTIONS Up for the Count To count individual shoppers in crowded shopping centers and retail stores requires the ingenious hardware and software that is licensed in North America to A1 Counting Solutions. S John Plainos Concord, Ontario ince 1985, John Plainos has owned and operated an electrical contracting company, A-1 Service Group. In 1994, he identified the counting of people in retail locations as a possible niche market. His firm installed a few systems that were typically used at the time to count the number of customers in stores and malls so he could learn how they worked. He learned that they did not work very well. Plainos was able to demonstrate to retailers how inaccurate most of the systems being used at the time were. “We evaluated the systems out there, and we were quite annoyed with the quality of systems that vendors were offering to retailers,” recalls Plainos, who is president of A1 Counting Solutions. “The products that were being sold to the industry were applied electronics,” he remembers. “They would take an electronic sensor off the shelf, such as a conveyor belt sensor or a security sensor, and create software behind it. As soon as an infrared beam was crossed, the user received a click, and that click gave you a number.” Unfortunately, Plainos saw flaws with these systems. “If there were several people crossing the infrared beam, the software registered the movement as one click,” he points out. “The other problem was that they were not bidirectional. So all you knew was that there was some type of a movement within that area.” Plainos used manual counting methods in some locations along with the automated systems and compared the results. “We did tests with several systems, and we found that they were anywhere between 40 to 90 percent accurate, and none of the data was consistent,” he says. Because there was such a drastic 70 May/June 2012

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Retail Merchandiser - May/June 2012

Retail Merchandiser - May/June 2012
‘Push’ vs. ‘Pull’
Narrow Your Band
Celebrating in Style
Give a Little Something Extra
Charm City Cakes
LazyTown Entertainment
Binny’s Beverage Depot
Vallarta Supermarkets Inc.
Cintron Beverage Group
Total Wine and More
Golfsmith International Inc.
Barrow Fine Furniture
Hedahls Auto Plus
Kopp Drug Inc.
Grafton-Fraser Inc.
Intelligent Office Canada
A1 Counting Solutions
New & Notable
Focus on Licensing - May/June 2012
2012 Preview
Franchising Facts
Hello Kitty Charm
Playing It Up
Saban Brands Powers Up
Mars Retail Group
SEGA of America Inc.
Major League Baseball Players Association
Universal Partnerships & Licensing
Remington Arms Co.
Cartoon Network Enterprises
Hybrid Apparel
Agile Network
New & Notable

Retail Merchandiser - May/June 2012