How Nationwide were able to understand the local retail environment of individual branches and build robust forecasting models with LDC.

Read more


Underlying profit (2015)



Nationwide and LDC have been partners for over 4 years, with LDC providing data, tools and insight to support Nationwide’s market planning across the UK.

Nationwide use LocalDataOnline to map, analyse and report on its retail locations, identifying both opportunities and risks across their branch network. The relationship between LDC and Nationwide has developed to meet Nationwide’s evolving requirements and strategy.

There are two distinct work sections within the Location Planning Team: analysts who need to look at individual branches and the Data team that requires a full branch network view of the data. LocalDataOnline meets both these different needs by fulfilling 2 key business challenges.


Nationwide is the world’s largest building society, it is one of the largest savings providers in the UK and a top-three provider of mortgages in the UK.

It is a mutual organisation, owned by and run for, the benefit of its 15 million members. The Society offers a broad range products and services including mortgages, savings and other financial products.

Nationwide has around 700 branches across the UK.

Challenge 1:

Understanding the local retail environment of individual branches.


With the bulk of their branch portfolio located within rapidly-changing retail centres, Nationwide needed the latest data to understand local market dynamics and provide depth to site analysis. The Location Planning team are responsible for developing retail network strategy and making recommendations for investment in the branch estate. It was essential that the data used to support decision making was constantly and consistently updated and easily accessible.


Through working with LDC, Nationwide realised very quickly that they could access organic, reliable and up to date data on their locations. This data was provided at a national, regional and local level in a visual way which made it easy to read, digest and to base strategic decisions on.

Accurate data about the health of retail centres is backed up by site visits, giving the team the confidence they need when reviewing changes in the market and recommending strategic options. However, one thing that is harder to glean from a site visit is the direction of travel or local market dynamics within any location. This is where the LDC data comes into its own. By having each indicator linked to an actual premise with at least 5 years’ history, it is possible to get a historic view of market change around any property, street or centre.

Location Overview - Castleford Nationwide Case Study

LocalDataOnline: Location Overview – Castleford Town Centre

This has opened up a whole new way of viewing local markets for the Nationwide team which wasn’t available from other data sources where it is more difficult to match up historic datasets.

With Nationwide’s branches being located in a number of smaller centres, it was critical to source insight with good coverage of all location types, not just the larger centres. Trends for over 3,000 GB centres are easily to visualise within LocalDataOnline’s Portfolio Analysis Dashboard, giving rich context to branch investment decisions. By having access to the latest data updates in a ‘live’ environment, it is possible to spot any recent upturn in the health of ‘weakening’ centres, which may not have been spotted in other indicators, or even within Nationwide’s own performance data. This can prevent hasty decisions being made, which may ultimately prove costly in the long term.

Nationwide Portfolio Analysis - Health and direction of travel

Nationwide Portfolio Analysis – Health of locations and direction of travel.

The strong visual presentation of the data within LDC’s portal is another way that helps the team to communicate insights to senior management.

“LDC data enhances our understanding of retail centres where we have a branch presence, helping to explain local variations in performance and adding value to strategic analysis.”
– John Blunden, Location Planning Consultant, Nationwide Building Society

Challenge 2:

Building robust forecasting models.

The Location Planning Data team needed to build robust forecasting and planning models to analyse the current and branch network and to plan its future shape. Accurate modelling helps ensure the right investment decision is made in each branch location and across the portfolio as a whole and requires a full view of the Branch Network data.


The latest LDC data is easily exported directly from LocalDataOnline and used in combination with other internal and external datasets. This is supported by additional file updates supplied by LDC containing more detailed indicators and supporting evidence such of photos of each premise within a centre. These data extracts provide Nationwide with the raw ingredients to feed modelling and detailed analysis projects.

Outlet-level geocoded data set feeds into in-house GIS models that enable the Location Planning team to assess retail centres, find determinants of performance and to develop & enhance the branch network strategy.

Key benefits of the data are:

  • Floorspace / rateable value data and opening hours information is available for most of the outlets covered in the dataset. This provides Nationwide with a good view of nearby premises, competitors and potential footfall drivers.
  • Integration into Nationwide’s Location Planning database is straightforward enabling in-house KPI’s to be tied in with wider Retail Centre data from LDC (e.g. Health Index, Vacancy rates).

In particular, the LDC Health Index has proved to be a valuable indicator, and knowing that this is grounded on a robust methodology helps the team to gain build confidence in its modelling capabilities.

Nationwide works in close partnership with LDC, to provide feedback on how data is being used and the impact this has on decision-making. As local markets and requirements change, this requires a constant review of key indicators, and LDC has made several improvements to its datasets with the support of the team at Nationwide.

“LDC are always quick to respond and offer assistance where required to enhance their data feeds. This allows us to be very flexible and provide the best possible decision making support to our senior internal clients”
– John Clarke, Location Planning GIS Manager, Nationwide Building Society

“Whilst we as a business are evolving so too is the partnership with LDC, our weekly calls allow free thinking regarding potential solutions to current problems being faced and a chance to discuss new ideas. With LDC receptive to this way of working and indeed encouraging it we at Poundworld feel that we are a valued customer and not just another brick in the wall.”
– Kieran Gwynnette, Property Analyst

Get in touch

Get in touch

Get in touch with us to see how you could use LDC’s data and analysis platforms to execute your location strategy easier and faster than ever before.