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Retail

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.

Our researchers work in collaboration with leading retailers to produce a highly detailed picture of patterns of consumer behaviour that is relevant to businesses, academia and wider society.

Tackling Food Waste with Asda

It is estimated that one-third of edible food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted globally each year. In the UK, food waste derived from households accounts for 7.3 million tonnes of total food and drink wasted annually. UK households throw away approximately a third of the food they purchase for consumption.

In a bid to tackle this problem, CDRC Co-investigator Professor William Young and his team at the University of Leeds joined with Asda to implement a multichannel initiative aimed at changing customer attitudes and behaviour.

What does supermarket loyalty card data reveal about food purchase behaviours?

Supermarkets gather loyalty card data for marketing purposes but these novel data sources offer great potential for research and policy making.

Loyalty card transaction records, linked to back of pack nutrient information, present a novel opportunity to use objective records of food purchases to assess diet at a household level.

These projects, in partnership with Sainsbury’s, explore the use of transaction data to understand the food purchasing behaviours of our population.

Understanding e-commerce channel use in the grocery market

The UK Grocery e-commerce industry is amongst the most developed in the world with an estimated value of £11.4 Billion in 2018 with grocery e-commerce sales accounting for 7.2% of all fast-moving consumer goods sales in the UK.

The proliferation of new retail channels such as home delivery and click and collect has resulted in a more complex set of omni-channel interactions between consumers and retailers.

These complex interactions give rise to strategic challenges for retailers, notably to retail location planning teams who are responsible for predicting consumer demand and managing resources accordingly.

Paramount for retailers in addressing these challenges is an understanding of who their consumers are, which channel(s) they are likely to use and where they live.

Do only affluent consumers buy green labelled products?


Combining sales and demographic data can provide better insight into consumer behaviour. Much evidence on consumer buying behaviour and sustainability issues relies on attitudinal, self-reported or national sales data. This is often not close enough to real behaviour nor helpful at a company level.

With access to sales and demographic data, we are able to see the detail at a geographical, product or consumer type level that can only help decision making. But this can only be done through exciting collaborations across sectors.

The Consumer Data Research Centre, Asda and TransUnion (formerly Callcredit) came together to explore if there are links between the affluence of consumers and green-labelled products they buy.

UK Footfall Index


With the availability of detailed footfall data we also want to know the general national trend of footfall on retail high streets. Such national ’footfall index’ is not only important for the retail industry but also for various other purposes such as policy making, economic forecasting, etc.

The Footfall Index is devised by the Consumer Research Data Centre (CDRC) in association with the Local Data Company (LDC).

Why some retail centres out perform others


Research by the Consumer Data Research Centre (CDRC) uses a number of indicators to determine how retail centres across Great Britain perform.

Using new retail centre boundaries (these retail centre boundaries are an updated version of the DCLG town centre boundaries developed in 2004) for over 3,000 centres in Britain, their catchments and a multidimensional typology (Fig 1),  the CDRC’s research identifies some interesting trends.