The Retail Department assists national and independent retailers in their specific and unique needs regarding expansion, rationalization and optimization strategies in Sub-Saharan Africa. We have built up a strong client base that stretches across all retail categories.

We assist these retailers through various means:

  • In-depth analysis of existing networks is done to determine performance benchmarks.
  • Fernridge has developed a specific approach to identify new “gaps” in terms of greenfield opportunities and optimizing existing stores. This is done by taking into account the underlying market dynamics, e.g. overlapping trade, competitor supply, market size, etc. We also developed a unique store roll-out model, which has proven to be very effective in assisting new networks with market entry as well as growing mature networks.
  • We also render an all-inclusive consulting service where we provide clients an expert opinion on retail and property matters, as well strategic advice on innovation and growth in this sector.

Data Centre

The Fernridge Data Centre is an in-house data capture department that has a dedicated team of analysts. The purpose of this department is to create, maintain, update and provide data for our internal departments, subsidiaries, our internet product and external clients.   We have a wealth of primary and secondary data available and are continually improving our knowledge through fieldwork, research, partnerships, and innovation. Quality control is key and our data sets are constantly interrogated by our analysts and are industry tested in expenditure models, potential estimates etc.

Our demographic database consists of an accurate, up-to-date household demographic set derived from high resolution, recent available aerial photography.  We have an almost 100% coverage of South Africa’s metropolitan areas, as well as all the major cities and large towns, with extensive representation of smaller towns.

As part of our internal market intelligence, we also constantly update our retailer database, ranging from shopping centres and national chains via fieldwork.

Property Development

We have deep experience in conducting feasibility studies in the shopping centre sector.  This service is provided to (typically) banks, landlords, property managers, leasing agents, corporate and private investors and property developers.

We offer this feasibility product where there is a need for an understanding of a specific site’s catchment area demographics, new developments and growth in the area, level of competition, retail market size and subsequent modelling to determine the optimal size for the proposed retail development, or market share analysis in the case of an existing centre.  It can also include a site evaluation model & GPS fieldworks. This product is proven to be very valuable given our relationships with prominent retailers.

AfricaEye is a Fernridge product and a leading Business Intelligence tool for Demographic data in Africa. The world is increasingly mobile: people want access to information wherever they are, whenever they need it. With AfricaEye we help people all over the globe to access demographic data and solutions in Africa.

This website portal allows the registered user to pinpoint the desired location, whereby you can draw your desired catchment area, select the data sets you require and deliver a detailed downloadable PDF report with our most recent demographics and associated retail market size and competitive supply, all within a few minutes.

Health Care

Fernridge assists numerous healthcare groups in and outside SA with their expansion strategies in terms of opening new facilities (i.e. hospitals, clinics, specialized facilities, etc.) and researching existing ones.  This is as granular as recommendations in terms of acute- and sub-acute bed demand and includes trauma, oncology & maternity forecasts to name a few. Customized and international bed-demand models are used to determine the feasible size of a proposed new healthcare facility.  Applicable target market demographics are used for private and/or public demand modelling.


We forecast the anticipated number of learners for private and/or public education facilities based on the local demographic demand and supply. It is done for all types of sectors from preschool, primary, secondary and tertiary facilities. We also provide the competitive supply for the anticipated primary area.  It includes information in terms of number of classrooms, teachers, facilities, etc.  This can be used to determine the feasible scope of the proposed development.

Qualitative Research

Our Primary Research department focuses on consumer behavior through surveys with a list of questions aimed at extracting specific data from a particular group of people at a specific destination. This is done through effective capturing of data on handheld devices.  Surveys are mostly conducted via fact-to-face interviews (malls, retailers, etc.). Analysis is backed by our spatial capabilities of mapping respondents to an address to determine the primary area of concern and interpret data accordingly.

Mixed-use Development

This offering was derived from the property development service and land-uses. We cover residential (all typologies as well as student housing), commercial, industrial, hospitality and various other sectors.  Our models forecast the feasibility and optimal mix of these various uses based on the supply and demand in an area. It includes the assessment of market indicators such as demographic growth, take-up rates and trends, economic activity, etc.