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Solving the £100m retail data challenge

Explore how an Intelligent Digital approach powered New West End Company

This analysis was published in 2018. While we believe the content remains of interest, it doesn’t take into account major events since that date, including the recent global COVID-19 pandemic. Find out more on the potential business implications of COVID-19

A global icon. A £100m challenge

How would you make London’s West End and Mayfair the world’s number one retail and leisure district by 2020?

New West End Company has the goal to make London's West End - the area around Bond Street, Oxford Street and Regent Street - and Mayfair, a world-leader. They want to attract more people, encourage them to stay longer, and entice them to come back more often. All to reach £100m additional income by 2020.

They turned to PwC to help them use data and analytics to make it happen.

In just two weeks, we brought together new sources of data and advanced analytics, so they could make informed choices about where to invest and make improvements.

As you explore this story, take our interactive challenge and see how the data-driven decisions you make can help increase revenue. You might even find ways to beat the £100m target.

​Use our interactive tool below to see how Bond Street could generate an extra £100m.


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New West End Company How would you raise £100m of additional income by 2020?

This interactive is built for demo purposes only and based on real data not conclusive evidence or forecasting. All figures have been rounded up.


How much revenue can you raise by: Extending trading hours?

Click on the arrows to find out


Opening hours


Closing hours


How much revenue can you raise by: Attracting more Chinese visitors?

Move the plane to find out



How much revenue can you raise by: The Elizabeth Line increasing footfall?

Move the train to find out



How much revenue can you raise by: Attracting more affluent shoppers?

Slide the pin below to find out



Total raised so far: £0  

New West End Company You've raised: £0 #PwCDataStories

Start again
Increase the trading hours
Increase Chinese visitation
Increase footfall from the Elizabeth Line
Increase visitation from affluent people

This interactive is built for demo purposes only and based on real data not conclusive evidence or forecasting. All figures have been rounded up.

NWEC map scene

Start with smarter data

Our starting point was to help New West End Company enhance the nature and quality of their data. They always had traditional sources - like on-street surveys and information from tax-free shopping providers. But these sources had limitations:

Bias and subjectivity

With on-street surveys, what people tell you will always involve a degree of personal opinion, and could be inaccurate or exaggerated.

Missing pieces

For example, data on tax-free shopping is valuable, but misses EU citizens, who aren’t eligible for refunds. Or people who spend under the minimum threshold to qualify for a refund. And it misses cultural differences that affect the data - people from certain countries tend not to apply for refunds.

Small sample sizes

On-street surveys only reach a few thousand people a year, which is a small number of visitors to London's West End and Mayfair and may not be representative of the visitors to the area.

Know more. See more. See ahead

We created a holistic view of customers shopping and visiting the street. We brought anonymised and aggregated data together including:

  • Mobile network data
  • Aggregate spend data
  • Global flight bookings data

This data enabled us to piece together a more insightful story and uncover the profile and preferences of visitors. Who was coming? Where were they coming from? What socio-economic class did they belong to? How much money did they spend? Where did they visit? Why did they visit? How long did they spend there?

From data to decisions. In two weeks

Better data uncovered insights that could drive tangible changes to enhance the customer experience. And it meant they could model different ‘what if?’ scenarios giving greater confidence in their decision making.

Speak the right language

Retailers need to serve customers from all over the world. But which languages are important for your sales associates to speak? Our data uncovered where the most important customers came from – and it’s wasn’t the obvious places. Card spend and travel data told us that a small number of people from specific countries spent huge sums of money. So retailers could shift staffing decisions to serve this valuable, less-visible group.

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Know your busy times

Busy periods aren’t always when you think. The data showed that the busiest times were actually certain mid-week days. And it provided more accurate data about the busiest times of day, and busy seasons – again, not when you might expect. This meant retailers can staff their stores appropriately.

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Plan ahead

Access to travel data meant that we could help build a picture of future tourist numbers. We can analyse with greater accuracy when people were likely to be visiting the UK, from which countries, and how many were going to be coming.

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Our teams were able to help New West End Company reach the point of decision-making in just two weeks. In a very small amount of time, our data analysis created a more accurate, valid and reliable picture, helping retailers get an advantage in a tough marketplace.

Contact us

Neil Hampson

Neil Hampson

Technology Deals Leader, PwC United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)784 149 7220

Megan Higgins

Megan Higgins

Director, Customer and Retail Analytics, PwC United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0) 7718 979448

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