The Independent Achievers Academy

Improving standards across the sector

The Independent Achievers Academy (IAA) is our 12-month learning, development and recognition programme which helps retailers across the UK and Ireland improve their shop standards. By using our benchmarking tool, retailers gain a full understanding of how their store is performing – showing where standards are high, and where there is room for improvement.

The Tuck Shop, Sawbridgeworth. Dinesh Patel with Samantha Gunston. IAA. Shop layout. Photograph By: Sean Dillow. www.TheBigCheesePhotography.co.uk

Through the Academy in Action element of the IAA, we work in-store with retailers and leading suppliers to provide advice and insights that help retailers develop their offering and grow sales.

As well as helping retailers improve standards and grow sales, the IAA identifies the Top 100 retailers across the UK and Ireland and gives them the tools to shout about their successes – really putting them on the map.

The IAA culminates in the Gala Dinner, where we recognise 10 Category Stars – those retailers who are consistently achieving high standards, as well as the Overall Best Shop in the UK and Ireland.

‘All businesses should take part in the IAA, there’s always something new to learn and innovations to share’  

Sue Nithyanadan, Costcutter, Epsom

RN 30 under Thirty

In 2021, we launched RN’s 30 under Thirty initiative, to shine a light on the rising stars working in independent retail, those who are making a real difference – to their communities, their customers or to their own bottom-line.

The campaign culminates in a celebratory event, which is a fantastic opportunity for the winning retailers and supporters to network and share ideas, as well as being the launch pad for the following year’s campaign.


Bespoke events and in-store projects

We don’t have a one-size-fits-all approach with our events. From sustainability summits to in-depot and in-store projects, our experienced events team can find a solution that will help everyone involved achieve their business aims – retailers, wholesalers and FMCG suppliers alike.

Mo Razzaq's in his Family Shopper in Blantyre doing a tour of the shop for the New Trade's Independent Achievers Academy (IAA) Retail Study Day in Blantyre, Scotland.
Asim Iqbal, Roslin Convenience & Post Office. Sept 9 2021