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About us

Our origins and objectives

Our Origins & Objectives

Our origins and objectives

Helping over 10,000 independent retailers thrive.

The Federation of Independent Retailers is one of Europe’s largest employers’ associations, with over 10,000 independent retail stores across the UK and Ireland.

We exist to help independent retailers compete more effectively in today’s highly competitive market. We provide:

  • Practical help and assistance
  • Commercial support
  • Deals and buying opportunities
  • Training, expertise and services

We actively represent our members’ interests at governmental and parliamentary level, and we are the official government referral body for the sector. We are proud to be a powerful voice for the independent retailer.

Today, our members include newsagents, convenience stores, confectioners, florists, petrol forecourts, news deliverers, off-licences, post offices, coffee shops, and card and stationery shops.


Our history

Our roots go back to 1893, but we were officially founded in Leicester 26 years later. Since 1919, we’ve consistently championed independent retailers as the National Federation of Retail Newsagents (NFRN). In 2021, we rebranded as the Federation of Independent Retailers to better represent our membership.


Our objectives

  • To be the voice of the independent retailer.
  • To be recognised by the industry and government as a key and influential retail membership organisation.
  • To provide commercial support by operating as a collective trading group, delivering positive benefits to members that enable them to run financially successful businesses.
  • To ensure we operate efficiently while providing a structure that is relevant to the needs of members in a challenging and ever-changing marketplace.


Membership services

  • Provide value through advice, support benefits and legal assistance.
  • Provide leadership through effective involvement and communication.
  • Provide pastoral care.


Political engagement

  • Maximise our profile, to the benefit of the Fed and our members.
  • Represent member interests and promote positive legislation and trading conditions.


Business development

  • Help, support and encourage members in running financially successful business.
  • Provide training and development to both members and staff to meet the changing needs of the market.


Operational requirements

  • Maintain a structure relevant to the needs of members in a changing market.
  • Maintain a sound financial base.
  • Grow and develop our membership.