Sales Data

An item level sales database to provide details on purchases of selected products.

Developing Scotland's Retail LaboratoryTM


The Stirling based project involves sourcing item level, sales data from selected retailers to provide data on item movement and purchase. This will provide a research tool for a variety of research projects in the retail marketing, merchandising and consumer choice fields.

Retailers have a wealth of data within their businesses. Some retailers struggle to analyse all the data they have and simply use tried and tested means of analysis. Academics find it hard to investigate the depth of relationships within the retail industry, as they do not have the data on which to experiment or to develop new and enhanced techniques and models.

In the USA, and in a few other countries, these issues have been addressed by the creation of depositories of retail data sets within selected Universities (e.g. Santa Clara, Florida, Pennsylvania). These depositories act as retail laboratories in which academics can investigate relationships in real retail data. Such laboratories also provide a valuable teaching resource for retail students.

Scotland's Retail LaboratoryTM will consist of selected retail data sets. Some of the consumer data sets will be Scotland wide and represent sales data for the whole of Scotland. Other data sets will be store, sector or product specific data sets. Standalone data sets will be accepted but some data sets will be longitudinal in nature, achieved by repeat but discrete deposits of the same base data.

On deposit, the data sets will be examined, cleaned and described. They will then be set up electronically so as to be accessible to the CSRS Community network.

These data sets will enable academics to ask questions about aspects of retail marketing, merchandising, pricing as well as consumer choice and purchase models. Some of this investigation will use standard linear techniques; others might use newer non-linear approaches.

The intention is to develop a resource that can be used to ask and answer both retail specific questions and methodological and model-building questions.

Whilst the intention of establishing Scotland's Retail LaboratoryTM is to enhance our knowledge about retailing in Scotland and to develop Scotland's research talent, there is clearly potential for international comparisons and international research. It is a broader aim to attempt to develop collaborative research with other such laboratories and to investigate the potential for staff exchanges.