Retail research is not limited to the retail research centres referrred to above. Much of the research is done by academics not linked to any of the centres. A considerable amount of research is also done by private companies all over the world. Private companies often focus on market analysis and trends, as well as locational studies. In South Africa a substantial amount of research is done by private consulting firms such as:
- Doug Parker and Associates, a Cape Town based company established in 1978.
- Urban Studies, started by Dr Dirk Prinsloo in Pretoria in 1990.
- Fernridge, founded in 2002 by Stephen Walters and Sybrand Strauss in Johannesburg.
These companies focus mostly on locational studies. Market reports in South Africa are done by:
- Auditing firms such as Price Waterhouse Coopers
- The Bureau of Market research at UNISA
- The Business Monitor International, a London based group