Providing global insights for the retail industry

A research initiative of Saïd Business School, combining industry knowledge with analytical rigour and objectivity.

Established in 1985, the Institute has worked for over 35 years to relate sound scholarship to the practical needs of retailers, service companies and public sector agencies.

Members of the Institute run executive education programmes, carry out research with direct relevance to academics, practitioners and policy-makers, and contribute to building a world-wide network of experts in retailing.

The Institute's teaching and research is undertaken at national, European and international scales.



OXIRM undertakes both commissioned and public domain research with direct relevance to practitioners but which draws upon rigorous academic thinking.

The institute is experienced in undertaking research commissioned or funded by a wide range of organisations in both the public sector (eg BEIS, DCLG, European Commission, NESTA, Research Council of Norway, Transport for London) as well as the private sector (eg Nielsen, Alliance Boots, Association of Convenience Stores, IBM, International Group of Department Stores, KPMG, Mars and Tesco).

We have also collaborated as a partner in both national and international projects with academic, private sector and consulting organisations such as the BI Norwegian School of Business, Universita di Parma, UCL the Universities of Southampton, Liverpool, Surrey and Leeds, Nathaniel Lichfield & Partners, the British Council of Shopping Centres, London Economics, Eurocommerce and CEIS - the food industry forum). 

Our engagement as co-investigators in ESRC's £7.9mn Consumer Research Centre project, with collaborators in UCL and the University of Liverpool, is a direct consequence of our interest and expertise in big data as it forms retailers' strategic decision-making.

The Institute is selective in the projects for which it bids; choosing projects with the most significant potential for improving retail knowledge and policy formulation. 

Find out more about the Consumer Data Research Centre (CDRC)

The main themes of our research relates to external influences affecting the retail industry:

  • Analysis of international retail performance
  • Retailing, marketing and technology
  • Planning, location and development for retailing
  • Supply chain management
  • Retail marketing and the changing consumer
  • Retail innovation and entrepreneurship

Past research

View past research


  • Teaching units on the Oxford MBA programme.
  • Supervising Oxford MBA and Oxford Executive MBA student projects within retail and related firms.
  • Co-ordinating careers discussions and panels for graduate students.
  • Research workshops (for practitioners and policy-makers).

Executive Education

Said Business School's executive education programmes provide a way for the Institute to engage with the retail sector. 

Our portfolio of open-enrolment and custom programmes build long-term partnerships with our clients - developing, empowering and supporting their activities at both the individual and organisational level. They provide a personal interaction and peer to peer learning opportunity, bringing together diverse senior level executives from across the world. Participants benefit from discussing strategic questions with peers from regions at different stages of the economic cycle.

Our people

Our academics