Tyco (NYSE: TYC), an Ireland based global corporation known for fire suppression and security, has announced plans to acquire Chicago based retail analytics provider Shoppertrak for roughly $175 million in cash.
Even if the name doesn’t ring a bell, you know Shoppertrak’s numbers. Each holiday season, when you hear reports on holiday shopping activity, the numbers come from Shoppertrak. Shoppertrak knows how many people are shopping, where they go and how much they spend. Since its founding in 1993, the company has monitored the movements of shoppers, using now-traditional detectors to count people passing through store entrances, newer pressure-sensitive floor mats and now by detecting signals from mobile phones.
Tyco’s calls itself the world’s largest pure-play fire and security company, and it does just about everything in security and fire monitoring and surveillance, from designing fire detection and suppression systems to providing security services to monitor alarms for a wide range of security and safety hazards. Tyco brands include ADT, American Dynamics, and Sensormatic.
Fire suppression and security. Retail analytics. Where’s the connection? These two sides of the business may be more closely related than you think.
Earlier this year, Tyco acquired FootFall, another retail intelligence firm. These companies will become part of Tyco Retail Solutions, which began in loss prevention monitoring and has expanded to a wider range of retail data applications including customer service and inventory replenishment.
The FootFall and Shoppertrak acquisitions provide Tyco with unique shopper behavior data from an extensive network of installations and a wider range of offerings for its retail customers. Combining monitoring systems for a wide range of activities, from people entering the store and moving within it, to inventory, to product loss, means that Tyco will be strongly positioned to support detailed retail analytics, providing retail clients with a one-stop-shop for monitoring systems, data and analysis capabilities.
Meta S. Brown Forbes.com