Faculty & Research
The School
Oxford Institute of Retail Management

Oxford Institute of Retail Management

Past research


Our track record in producing influential conceptual, policy-relevant as well as empirical research is well-established. A sample of these achievements is listed below.

The Oxford retail technology research programme

Sponsored by Intel
Commenced October 2011
This research programme seeks to understand the role of technology in improving the retail customer experience and to inform retailers and technologists about concurrent issues.

Shop costs barometer

Richard Cuthbertson
August 2013 - July 2015
Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) worked with University of Oxford and the Retail Industry Business Engagement Network (RIBEN) to undertake in depth qualitative research to understand the economic and social contribution of local shops.

Value-driven service innovation

Research Council of Norway, Accenture and Borg Innovation
Commenced October 2008
The specific objective of the VDSI project is to advance methodologies for developing innovative service concepts that increase value to the consumer.

Retail Industry Business Engagement Network

Sponsored by the ESRC and Association of Convenience Stores
2010 - 2013
The Retail Industry Business Engagement Network (RIBEN) brought together four of the UK's leading retail research groups from the Universities of Oxford, Leeds, Southampton and Surrey to act as facilitators of wider social science engagement with the retail industry.

The development of a consumer society in India

Sponsored by Alipore Institute of Management and Technology
Commenced August 2010
This project aims to generate realistic scenarios for the future development of a consumer society in India.

The state of UK retail places

Funded by the Economic and Social Research Council
February 2013 - April 2013
The future vitality and viability of the UK’s High Streets have attracted considerable attention over the last few years. However, much of this attention – not least recent policy-making in this area - has been based on rhetoric and anecdotal evidence rather than data-driven reality.

Economic study on commerce in the EU economy

Commissioned by Eurocommerce and others
June 2013 - March 2014
The study provides a sharp, engaging analysis of the socio-economic and technological context in which retail and wholesale operate and will operate in the next twenty years.

Retail logistics best practice

Sponsored by the European Commission
February 2006 - May 2010
OXIRM was the retail sector and UK academic partner in a €3m collaborative European Commission project under the 6th Framework, BestLog, which sought to disseminate retail logistics best practice throughout Europe.
Our research for the European retail association CIES in 2004 demonstrated the economic, social and political impact that the industry has across Europe and addressed issues of image and reputation.
Working with Amdocs on the Intentional Customer Experience programme enabled the company to clarify their thinking and so develop new systems that aimed to alter the shape of the mobile telecommunications market
Our research on scenarios for retail growth and development formed part of the DTI’s work on technology foresight during the late 1990s and again in 2005.
Our work on retail productivity for the Department of Trade & Industry’s Retail Strategy Group challenged preconceptions about the nature of, and reasons for, apparent productivity gaps between retailing in the UK, the US and France.
Our rolling programme of research with KPMG on understanding the role of loyalty cards, private label products and electronic media led to a series of thought-leadership publications that helped to lead both external thinking and internal practice within the company.
Our examination of trends in ‘teleshopping’ in the late 1980s and early 1990s, funded by Coopers & Lybrand, and the establishment of a ‘practitioner consortium’ (which included Tesco and Argos), predated contemporary concern over e-commerce by some ten years.
Our work on the effects of major out of town retail development, sponsored by the then UK Department of the Environment in 1992, provided a formative input into the last twenty years of UK planning policy guidance for retailing.

Mobile, commerce, consumer and retail productivity

Jonathan Reynolds
October 2013 - July 2015
This research visit will start a new collection exploring the impact of the development of commerce on smartphones and tablets. It will explore the use of smartphone apps in the consumer buying process and the consequences for productivity improvements by retail firms.
Contact us
Oxford Institute of Retail Management
T: +44(0)1865 288945