Consumer Data Research Centre


The retail industry is constantly changing; analysing consumer data can help us to better understand the industry in terms of business resilience, customer mobility and changing buying habits. CDRC is producing a highly detailed picture of patterns of consumer behaviour that is relevant to businesses, academia and wider society.


Maps: CDRC Retail areas and Catchments

See our retail areas and catchment maps on CDRC Maps – use the toggle buttons on the Centres and Catchments panel to show the different kinds of catchments, and click on a centroid circle to see them. The data pertaining to each map is also available to download via the map.


Data downloads: Retail areas and Catchments

We’ve made available shapefiles of retail area and catchment data to download; these data represent the retail centre centroids that are used on the CDRC Maps platform.


The CDRC-LDC Footfall Data

Coming soon: This index shows the percentage change in visitors or footfall (FF) to retail environments in the United Kingdom between two different periods of time (for example, consecutive months or days).


Access Retail Indicators



To demonstrate the value of our data holdings,  researchers at our host universities are currently undertaking Big Data exemplar research projects in each of our key research themes.

Demographic profile of the footfall – Huq Industries Ltd

The objective of this research was to investigate the correlation between mobile geo-data and average footfall in retail centres in the UK. We made use of mobile geo-data provided by Huq Industries and footfall data derived through SmartStreetSensor project. The work demonstrates how linking traditional and contemporary data sources can help to create a better understanding of the ambient population and consumer behaviours in retail centres.

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Detecting Postcode Error in Loyalty Card Data – UK High Street Retailer

Loyalty card data offer a typical example of a contemporary “Big Data” source, however these new forms of data are often produced as a by-product of commercial activities, leading to issues when attempting to apply them in research. Importantly, lack of researcher control over data collection means they may be susceptible to unidentified data error, which is of particular importance when considering spatial applications.  This case study presents the preliminary stages of understanding the potentiality and limitations of loyalty card data for applications within social science research.

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The Geography of Delivery Failure – Appliances Online

Appliances Online are an Internet-based retail organisation offering a range of home appliance goods. The objective of this research was to investigate trends in their delivery data in order to explore potential reasons behind the extent of failed deliveries.  A number of potential influencing factors were investigated including relationships with specific product categories, spatial effects, residency types and temporal influences on the likelihood of experiencing delivery issues. The work demonstrates how analysis of large consumer datasets may be able to reveal previously undetermined relationships that could be utilised for informing more efficient business and logistics planning.

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Analysis of Click & Collect Services – UK High Street Retailer

Click and collect has experienced a boom in recent years, becoming a prominent fixture for many multichannel retailers. In addition, click and collect has been shown to increase physical store interactions and sales.  However, there is limited evidence on the spatial and temporal dynamics of this popular channel and research is needed in order to optimise services for both consumers and retailers.  Working in collaboration with a major UK high street retailer, this research sought to utilise consumer data to further understand click and collect interactions across the UK.

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Demographic and scale consumption behaviour of Youth population in the UK – Youth Banking Card Provider

Consumer behaviour studies have traditionally focused on adult populations, despite empirical evidence that younger consumers are an active market force and a large proportion of a family’s annual income is spent on fulfilling youth needs.

This case study presents an exploratory analysis of youth consumption, exploring the complex patterns and spatial relationships of spending behaviour at a city and Output Area (OA) level. In addition, it introduces a prototype of a bespoke geo-demographic classification, the “Youth Output Area Classification” (YOAC), which aims to provide evidence of how youth spending and earnings vary by demographics and neighbourhood characteristics.

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The Centre delivers a national service to the social science research community by providing access to a large volume of consumer data for research. Users can access our datasets either directly from the datastore or by application.


Footfall in Denbighshire comparison data – Footfall Data, Denbighshire County Council

In Denbighshire there are a number of factors influencing the rise and fall of visitors to the highstreets. Some factors’ influence spreads over the entire UK, some may influence Wales and others on an even more local scale. The objective of this project is to understand the extent to which the footfall of Denbighshire town centres are influenced by national trends and extract the nuances which are due to a more proximate influences.

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CDRC’s Masters Research Dissertation Programme instigates several masters led research projects which seek to tackle topical problems put forward by industry. We have included three examples of retail specific projects below. You can also view the full selection of extended abstracts which summarise the research undertaken by students who participated in previous years of the programme.


Estimate impact of slot availability on customer demand by using choice-based demand models – Sainsbury’s

The increasing sales through online channels has made large supermarket retailers seek new strategies to meet this surging customer demand in online grocery shopping.  This research sought to demonstrate that it is useful to analyse the impact of slot availability and price on customer demand for delivery services. It also presented methods to assist the planning of resource allocation and capacity management policies to improve the efficiency of services.

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Can smart meters save consumers and British Gas money and carbon by pinpointing which consumers are most likely and best placed to install insulation in their homes? – British Gas

British Gas, as with other energy providers, have certain energy-savings targets to fulfil as part of the Government’s ECO (Energy Company Obligation) policy. These include providing wall cavity and loft insulation to customers’ homes. With no existing dataset regarding how energy-efficient consumers’ homes are, this has to be inferred from other sources, such as smart meter data. In this project the aim was to focus on customers that are homeowners and living in homes with cavity walls.

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Relations between structure and performance of retail centres in England and Wales and demographics of their catchment areas – Local Data Company (LDC)

There has been plenty of research on the population structure and how population data can be used to predict retail turnover both within the academic community and amongst retail analyses. Yet little has been done to establish how the characteristics of retail centre catchments vary across England and Wales, and how these characteristics may influence the health of retail centres. This paper explores these relationships through the estimation of retail catchment areas of 1206 retail centres in England and Wales.