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The LDC Health Index: unmatched accuracy for retail location benchmarking
Date published: Date modified: 2023-06-07

Comparing and benchmarking retail locations can be a complex task, given the diversity and variance of retail locations across Great Britain. With this in mind, LDC have developed a proprietary Health Index, our own scoring system for assessing retail health.

Developed and reshaped over its lifespan to reflect the most important health metrics in the current retail climate, the Index provides a quantitative evaluation of the health and attractiveness of over 3,000 locations, grouped into five types: small high streets, medium high streets, large high streets, shopping centres and retail parks.

It comprises 12 key scores, covering the most important factors that define the attractiveness and health of a retail location. The LDC Health Index methodology takes into account demographic makeup, catchment size, vacancy rates, dwell time and quality of tenants, producing a numerical score that allows for the comparison of locations of different types and sizes.

The example below shows the Health Index score for Brent Cross shopping centre in London, demonstrating how individual scores are allocated for each location. Health Index scores are updated monthly, providing clients with the most comprehensive, up-to-date view of the location and its place within the wider market.

health index chart 1-2Figure 1: Example LDC Health Index scores (Source: Local Data Company)

Supporting investors with a shopping centre tracker

To aid their targeting of acquisitive brands, a shopping centre investor used the LDC Health Index to determine the relative attractiveness of their locations.

The shopping centres selected were determined by LDC to have a similar category mix, tenant line-up, total floorspace, customer demographic and regional pull. The information was produced as a shopping centre tracker, updated on a quarterly basis to provide a picture of changes. In combination with access to our insights platform, Local Data Online, the client was able to dive deeper to understand the reasons behind the changes in the health scores of each location. This enabled them to monitor changes for benchmarking purposes, and use the data provided as a valuable source for internal reporting and investor relations presentations.

health index chart 2-1

Figure 2: Benchmark asset quarterly tracker (Source: Local Data Company)

Post-pandemic recovery tracking for a local council

As office workers, tourists and shoppers returned to the capital after the pandemic, a London council wanted to monitor the recovery of various postcode sectors in the local area. The council’s aim was to make sure that no area was left behind, or had stagnated in terms of recovery. The council receive a quarterly reporting scorecard complete with LDC Health Index scores; in-depth analysis helps to identify the exact metrics causing a particular location to fall behind. This allows the council to engage with local stakeholders in these areas to offer tailored support, with an understanding of specific challenges.

health index chart 3-1

Figure 3: Quarterly Health Index tracker across London postcodes (Source: Local Data Company)

Aiding relocation planning for a retailer

The LDC Health Index was used in a scorecard to help a retailer understand changes in the attractiveness of their current location, compared to other locations in the same catchment, ahead of leasing decision-making. This was used to underpin decisions on whether a store should be retained, relocated, or closed altogether.

The work done by LDC helped to provide a view of out-of-town assets around the city and help showcase not only the strongest locations at the time, but what the trajectory of these locations has been over the past five years. The data demonstrated how several retail parks had seen significant boosts in attractiveness over the five-year period, but also identified The Venue at Cribbs Causeway as the most dominant retail park in the catchment.

health index chart 4-1Figure 4: Target relocation sites across Bristol retail parks (Source: Local Data Company)

The LDC Health Index provides an invaluable decision-making tool for a variety of sectors, enabling the comparison of a diverse slate of locations to support informed, effective strategy and planning.

To find out more about the Health Index, how it combines with our other strategic insight products, and how it can support your business objectives, get in touch at

Local Data Company

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Local Data Company is the UK’s most accurate retail location insight company. We physically track every retail and leisure business across the entire country. Our data powers strategy and decision making for our clients working across retail, leisure, out-of-home media, investment, property and financial services.

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