Retail research company Verdict Research, which reports on the nation’s buying habits, is being sold to Datamonitor for £4.7million.

The market research business, which was established in 1984 by entrepreneur Richard Hyman, is being sold for an initial £3.3m with a further £1.4m to be paid over the next three years subject to performance.

Verdict will join Datamonitor’s consumer goods research arm and marks the company’s first foray into retail research. It will also complement its offerings in the technology, logistics and financial services markets.

Hyman, a well-known industry figure who frequently contributes to television and radio programmes, will stay on as head of Verdict for a further three years.

Datamonitor plans to expand Verdict’s operations beyond the UK to the rest of Europe and the US.