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Welcome to the Centre for Retail Research Website.

The Centre for Retail Research provides authoritative and expert research and analysis of the retail and service sectors in Britain, Europe and globally.

The Centre for Retail Research (CRR) has provided authoritative and expert research and analysis of the retail and service sectors for twenty-one years in Britain, Europe and North America.

The CRR is not funded by the retail sector or suppliers, but is completely independent. We like shops and shopping, the people who work in retailing and are normally sympathetic to their objectives. We are fiercely objective in our approach to issues and our findings.

We specialise in retail trends across several countries, assessing:

- developments in online shopping
- patterns of consumer behaviour
- the changing high streets in towns and cities
- forecasting retail spending
- retail crime.

The Centre's research is widely quoted
The Centre's research and views are quoted widely. Radio and TV stations include: the BBC's Today Programme, BBC 24, CNN, Sky News, Channel 4 News, ITV, BBC News, Sky and TV stations in The Netherlands, Czech Republic, and Germany. Our reports are carried by major newspapers including The Times, Financial Times, The Economist, Time Magazine, Daily Mail, The Sun, Frankfurter Allgemeine, The Financial Daily/ Financieele Dagblad (Amsterdam), Täglicher Marktbe (Germany), Expansion (Spain), The Irish Independent, Irish Post, the Times of India, Washington Times, and International Herald Tribune.

Our research focus

We are totally independent and are not connected to any outside organisation or interest group.

The Centre's Director is Professor Joshua Bamfield.

Our key areas of interest include

  • e-Commerce trends: the growth of online (e-commerce) and multi-channel retailing in Europe and North America.
  • The Changing Structure of the High (Main) Street: the decline in shop numbers, retail bankruptcies, new forms of retailing, the changing retail fortunes of towns and cities.
  • Consumer trends: new patterns of buying and ownership, experience retailing, the green consumer, payment systems
  • Retail Forecasts:
  • Crime and Fraud: Our research into retail crime and fraud acts as a benchmark for retail corporations worldwide. The CRR originally set up the Global Retail Theft Barometer, covering crime issues in 43 countries from China to Argentina and from Finland to Australia.

Much of our work is confidential to our clients, which include large retail businesses, trade associations, suppliers and government bodies.


Methods and Independence

The Centre is not an apologist for the retail industry. It is not funded by the retail sector or by suppliers. Individual reports are usually funded, but carried out independently at 'arm's length'. The sponsor has no say in how the research is conducted or knows the names of the participants.

Where a report is sponsored, we say so. If no sponsor is mentioned then the report has not been sponsored. We do not carry out reports for clients that require a particular result (ie 'this report must find X and Y, but not Z') or where we are unhappy about the organisation. A condition of our work is that we are free to produce the work in the most reasonable way, without interference.

We are naturally sympathetic to the sector, its employees, suppliers and investors. But we recognise that the sector has areas of very bad practice indeed: some small firms have grown rapidly to become large businesses still run by chancers with gigantic egos; others trade in the UK but ensure they pay little or no corporation tax here; and whilst the care of shop staff is usually pretty good, the conditions of several categories such as warehouse staff and delivery drivers (including self-employed) can be lamentable.

The Centre for Retail Research has been researching the transformation of the retail sector for many years, before CRR started to operate as a separate company in 1997 and so is able to draw on a long tradition of engagement with such study.







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