blog | 11.05.2022 | Heather Sinclair

Experian data – how to access retail plans for your research

The retail industry continues to face turbulent conditions.

After weathering the storm of the COVID-19 pandemic, the sector continues to adapt to changing consumer behaviour and the growth of online shopping. It must now face the impacts of a cost-of-living crisis. Robust research into retail has never been more important.

So, we are currently welcoming new applications for Goad Plan Experian data – which gives a bird’s eye view of a retail centre – via our Data Service.

Goad Plan Data (Experian) is a dataset covering retail spaces within urban areas across the UK and Ireland. Its comprehensiveness and duration (from 1998 to 2017 and 2019) has the potential to support high-quality research through both coverage and geographical linkage. The data is also naturally occurring because it is collated by a company for use in planning and marketing commercial ventures in cities.

The Goad plans show the fascia name, retail category, floor space and exact location of all retail outlets and vacant premises. Key location factors such as pedestrian zones, road crossings, bus stops and car parks are also featured. Experian’s expert team of retail surveyors regularly surveys each plan to obtain a detailed picture of the composition of town centres. The team then collates the data for retail planning decisions regarding the location and space required for new retail outlets.

The potential applications for this data are wide-ranging. Goad Plans can be viewed in GIS formats to map, query, extract and analyse the key retail information within a given area. They can be used to determine retail performance indicators, inform marketing of commercial ventures, and assess the economic development needs of a region. Through the data, it is also possible to differentiate types of retail outlets such as district, local and neighbourhood shopping areas. Trends in vacancy rates can be analysed over a given time range.

For example, you can read the REPAIRing the city centre blog to discover how University of Glasgow researchers used Experian data to investigate changes in retail property.

We would love to hear from anyone from a UK higher education institution interested in using this data for non-commercial, academic research purposes – students, staff, or academic researchers. All you need to do is fill in the UBDC Application Form and we’ll be in touch.

We look forward to your applications!

Finally, don’t forget to check the blog section regularly for more information about new datasets available from UBDC.

Heather Sinclair

Heather Sinclair is the Information Services Officer for Urban Big Data Centre. She provides information management services to enhance data collections and support data programmes.

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