Thought Leadership and Innovation

Thought Leadership and Innovation

Innovation, challenge, independence and robustness is at the heart of the data, insights and opinions we express through our research and products. A key part of this is the work we do with the UK’s leading universities in researching and analysing how places, companies and people are changing over time. The expertise and knowledge of the academics that we partner alongside the data series that LDC has built up is very powerful indeed.

We support and advise the Economic and Research Council (ESRC) and the Consumer Data Research Centre (CDRC) as well as provide access to our data and insight tools for GCSE and A level students, undergraduates, postgraduates and PhD students. Every year we support over 30 such students and over 15 universities and business schools.

Some of the universities and academics we work with

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Hear From Our Partners

  • Nobody knows the High Streets of Great Britain better than The Local Data Company. They are constantly collecting and updating data on occupiers - and vacancy rates - of shops across the High Street, Shopping Centres and Retail Parks is a valuable tool for retailers, landlords, researchers and journalists. They are the go-to source for the media on the health of the High Streets.
    Financial Times NewWeb
    Claer Barrett, Financial Times
    Personal Finance Editor
  • "We have benefitted from working with the Local Data Company in at least three ways. First, we for the first time were able to present publically an evidence base about retail change across many of Scotland’s towns and centres. Secondly, from this we have been able to engage in policy debates around our town centres and retail change, on an informed basis. In both cases co-producing material and commentary with the Local Data Company has widened impacts and allowed a broader debate; the ongoing data capture of the local Data Company means that we also are able to continue to monitor change. Thirdly, working with the Local Data Company and its data and people has made us question some of our assumptions and encouraged us to adopt more rigour in how we use and interpret data in these areas."
    Leigh Sparks
    Professor of Retail Studies & Head of the Stirling Graduate School
  • "The Local Data Company’s open approach to sharing its data with universities across the UK sets a high bar for collaboration, from which larger companies could learn. The better integration and exchange of knowledge and experience that results leads to more effective commercialisation of ideas, which benefits practitioners and academics alike."
    Jonathan Reynolds
    Academic Director, Oxford Institute of Retail Management
  • "University College London is committed to developing the best high impact research. Our research partnerships with LDC are integral to this quest, and to developing the data infrastructures that underpin our understanding of places and the human activities that characterise them. LDC is an important player and collaborative partner in helping us understand the where? when? and why? of consumer behaviour."
    Professor Paul Longley
    Director (CDRC)
  • "I have worked with LDC for a number of years on a variety of collaborative retail research projects. By making their unique and high quality data available for this work, we have developed a number of new insights into retail markets and consumer systems. Collaboration with LDC has also extended beyond data sharing as they have generously assisted with advising, networking and creating significant and valuable impact within the retail sector.”
    Alex Singleton
    Professor of Geographic Information Science

LDC's Retail Leaders Forum 2017

This event brings together academics across some of the UK’s most prestigious institutions including UCL, the University of Oxford, the University of Stirling, the University of Liverpool and Cardiff University with some of the UK’s leading practitioners in the retail and leisure marketplace; including this year representatives from Clarks, British Land, Tesco, LEON, Tristan Capital Partners, Dixons Carphone, Pizza Hut and more.

The day was split into four sections, focusing in turn on People, Places, Data and Insights, and ‘How research can lead to better decision making’.

Special projects & internships

We also work alongside universities and academics by assisting students with their dissertations and special projects related to retail and how it affects various aspects of life across Great Britain.

If you are working on a dissertation or thesis and would like to request access to our data and insight please email