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Your smartphone data may help Manteca snag restaurants, retail

Your smartphone may help the city lure new restaurants and stores to Manteca.

Retail Strategies — a national firm the city has hired to identify what the city is missing in terms of commercial endeavors that can be supported based on demographics and shopping patterns — plans to mine cellphone data to determine where people live and shop in the greater Manteca area.

The data they are using details how long your cellphone stays in one place. That will allow them to determine places where consumers go to shop and dine. As an example, data they develop will likely show a high density of cellphones at Costco.

That gives Retail Strategies the ability to develop a fairly accurate profile for foot traffic as opposed to simply relying on annual traffic counts on nearby major streets that are sometimes conducted on an annual basis but often have three to five years between counts.

But more importantly they can get a highly accurate picture of where consumers that shop at places like Costco live. That’s because the cell data that is collected on how long a cellphone is “parked” or stays in one place will show where the phone stays the longest. That typically is where the phone owner resides.

Why such data is important Retail Strategies is unlike any other firm city has employed in the past to provide it with consumer data, a snapshot of the overall possibilities for retail and restaurants within the community, and demographics the city has used in an attempt to shop Manteca to firms to enhance commercial offerings and strengthen the local sales tax base.

Retail Strategies actually will contact chain stores and restaurants that have specific offerings that are missing in the Manteca market. They go armed with data that shows the shopping and dining patterns of not just residents within the city limits but those of nearby communities.

As such the data Retail Strategies supplies is much more accurate.

The firm is also helping the city develop specific downtown strategies.

It will touch on consumer spending patterns, retail and restaurant mix, commercial and residential growth, roadblocks, challenges, land use, design, traffic flow and pedestrian access, and character.

A strategic vision report will be presented to the city for downtown within the next six weeks. It will be based on evaluation of the market analysis, stakeholder feedback from merchants and property owners, as well as observations the consultant made from a “boots on the ground tour.”


To contact Dennis Wyatt, email