Regional Rail Link

CASE STUDY: Surveys to determine who shops in Footscray and why.

Ellis Jones  •  Wednesday December 12, 2012
Government  •  Property & infrastructure


Regional Rail Link is a landmark infrastructure project designed to remove major bottlenecks in Victoria’s rail network by untangling metropolitan and regional tracks as they travel through Melbourne’s west. During development, there are significant impacts to the community traders which need to be managed and mitigated. Presently, major work is being undertaken at Footscray Rail Station.


Ellis Jones’ challenge was to undertake research to understand how these works are impacting local traders in the Footscray area.

“Ellis Jones was responsive and able to quickly gather the information necessary to inform our project development.”
– Helen Steel, Chair, Footscray Business Reference Group


Surveys were designed to determine who shops in Footscray and why. Findings are to inform the development of marketing and promotional campaigns supporting trade in Footscray while construction for the Regional Rail Link project is underway.

We applied our ‘research as engagement’ approach to:

  • Demonstrate to stakeholders and the community that something is being done to ameliorate the impacts of the development
  • Build anticipation for event activity in 2013
  • Understand the needs and likes of shoppers
  • Understand perceptions of Footscray; and
  • Record demographic influence on decisions.

Incorporating insight gained from previous stakeholder interviewing and engagement, we placed two surveyors in-field near Footscray station to interview shoppers for four hours each day.

A spread of three different days was chosen to enable comparison of data. Surveyors used mobile chip enabled iPads to upload survey data to the system in real time, enabling a review of progress and research outcomes at the culmination of each day. Our in-house designer produced a t-shirt design in hot pink and managed production.


Our findings are informing campaign branding, content development, in-store incentives, communication channels, identification of advocates and timing of campaign activities. Research findings are being used in publicity and stakeholder engagement activities.