ABA is one of the UK’s leading market research companies. Founded by Alison Bainbridge in 1994, we now have a 100+ team across St. Albans, London and Leeds – running projects worldwide

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We specialise in 8 crucial areas for retail brands - creating bespoke solutions that, often blending quantitative and qualitative approaches, turn insights into action

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Our aim is to ‘move ahead together’ by delivering research that compels action. Our values of Partnership, Discovery and Action guide all we do.

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Awards & Recognition

We are proud to have been endorsed in industry awards, including MRS Best Agency and AURA Agency of the Year.

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Giving something back

In 2012 we opened ‘Raindrops on Roses’, a highly successful gift shop whose profits all go to combat cancer – putting ‘our money where our mouth is’ and demonstrating ABA’s retail expertise.

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ABA is privileged to have lasting, mutually rewarding partnerships with some of the most ambitious and exciting retail brands - at a local, regional and global level.

Enhancing the John Lewis experience

Seeking to improve its already strong customer experience position, John Lewis appointed ABA in 2008. We’ve been a trusted partner ever since – measuring customers’ likelihood to recommend the brand, however they interact with it, and identifying how best to enhance scores.

"ABA is our strategic partner for understanding the experience of our customers across our multiple sales and service channels. We can rely on ABA for their consistent quality and independent opinion in our drive for a seamless customer experience." - Chris Bates, Head of Customer Marketing

Sparking M&S customer closeness

M&S's Womenswear attracts a broad church and it recognises the danger of trying to be 'all things to all' and ending up never the thing for anyone. ABA united senior stakeholders and shoppers to develop understanding that ensures M&S better satisfies customer needs.

"We set ABA the challenge of bringing the sixteen most senior M&S Womenswear managers face-to-face with customers. By the session’s end many pledged to keep personally in contact with their ‘customer buddy’ – ensuring knowledge is current and providing a sounding board for new ideas." - Kirsty Garrett – Head of Insight

Helping Superdry boost brand love

Superdry wanted to overhaul its Brand Track programme to identify a clearer correlation between scores and commercial performance – identifying changes that would build more meaningful customer bonds across the globe.

"ABA has successfully delivered the granular, actionable insight we need from our Brand Track programme. The team has invested in understanding our brand and international business. Results are generating the right strategic dialogue and decision-making at the highest level." - Jon Wragg, Marketing Director

Guiding O2’s iPhone 6S launch

The eagerly anticipated 2015 iPhone launch saw one of the fiercest retail battles ever. Desiring deep customer understanding to compete successfully in a highly contested market, O2’s Research Team appointed ABA to ensure they emerged with a great proposition.

“ABA has been our strategic partner on this high-profile project, collaborating with and influencing 27 senior stakeholders. We can be confident their team has a deep understanding of our business, plus the ability to produce fresh insights and clear recommendations.” - Jessica Salmon, Head of Research

Enriching the Camelot experience

Seeking to strengthen its digital player relationship, Camelot invited ABA to help it create a continual dialogue with customers – compatible with its major new online and mobile platform, which is transforming the way players interact with National Lottery games across all devices (particularly mobile).

‘ABA has helped us build an online player experience programme to be proud of. The team has shown considerable commitment, investing heavily in collaboration across the business. Real-time insight has transformed decision-making, convincing stakeholders on ways to build affinity.’ Nick Bonney, Head of Insight – Camelot

Growing category love at ASDA​

For ASDA, a department can be as big as many retailers in £ turnover – so categories need careful management. Success depends on understanding customer needs/behaviours, competitors, and category trends. Packaged world food is just one of many categories we've reviewed over the last five years.

“ABA understands how to unpick category opportunities within the context of the parent brand. The team always reveal key opportunities, and help identify the required actions that will step-change improvements in performance.” - Liz Lamb, Senior Director, Insight & Pricing


In developing tailor-made solutions, we are guided by our strategic approach and belief in unifying the robustness of quantitative research and the flair of qualitative research.

Discover how we work

Our retail insights, opinions and predictions

ABA blog

Our news and views on market research and retail trends

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ABA reports

Our thought leadership on research techniques and consumer behaviour in retail

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​Our people are bright, dedicated and human

Our people have always been, and always will be, the heartbeat of ABA. In addition to natural talent, 'ABA-ers' are collaborative, far-sighted, adaptable, committed and easy to get on with.