LAS VEGAS, NV – Shoptalk — Orbital Insight, a geospatial analytics and software company, today announced the expansion of its U.S. Retail Traffic product to cover more than 100 U.S.-based retailers. The company uses artificial intelligence to analyze satellite imagery of store parking lots and count the number of cars at each store location. By counting the number of cars in the parking lots of each U.S. location for a particular chain, Orbital Insight can estimate the retailer’s sales numbers before official statistics are released.
For instance, Orbital Insight found that J.C. Penney car counts were down 5 percent year-over-year in Q4 of 2016, which mirrors in-store sales during the same period, which were down 0.7 percent. Another example is the company’s analysis of Lowe’s. Since March 2014, Orbital Insight has seen Lowe’s car counts per lot increase by over 10 percent, which, coupled with an increase in store locations over the same period and boosted investor sentiment, correlates with the 66 percent stock price appreciation during that time.
The company launched the U.S. Retail Traffic product in 2014 with 20 publicly-traded retailers and has continued adding new store brands since. Now, Orbital Insight officially monitors the parking lots of more than 200,000 individual store locations for more than 100 different chains across all industries, including food, automotive and retail. Companies now monitored include the Cheesecake Factory (CAKE), Chuck E. Cheese (CEC), Gap (GPS), Office Depot (ODP), O’Reilly Auto Parts (ORLY), and The Container Store (TCS), among others.
The datasets have proven valuable to customers, having been utilized in reports by analysts from companies like JPMorgan Chase. A report by JPMorgan Chase analyst Rod Hall cited that, contrary to expectations, post-election retail store traffic showed year-over-year declines.
“This is a significant milestone for Orbital Insight, but we have no intention of stopping here,” says Dr. James Crawford, CEO and founder of Orbital Insight. “In our quest to increase global transparency for everyone, our next step is to add international coverage for large retailers in the U.K. and Canada, while we continue to expand our current product in the U.S.”
As more imagery becomes available from the company’s satellite partners, including DigitalGlobe, MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates, and Airbus, Orbital Insight plans to continue to expand its traffic monitoring capabilities to other types of retailers as well, including hotel chains and mall retailers.
About Orbital Insight
Orbital Insight works at the intersection of big data and the commercialization of space to understand and measure socio-economic trends at scale. As the first mover in large-scale analysis of satellite and UAV imagery, Orbital Insight focuses on the financial, government, energy, and insurance sectors to provide a quantified and objective big-picture understanding of the world.