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The Independent Retailers Confederation (IRC) is a well-established organisation, bringing together like-minded trade associations with interests in the small and independent retail sector.

The IRC represents c.100,000 independent retailers throughout the UK, creating a growing retail network, committed to the development and sharing of best practice among associations and their members engaged in the independent retail sector.

The IRC provides a lobbying platform for a variety of trade associations with shared interests, increasing the profile and voice of independent retailing within Government and Parliament.

The IRC provides the secretariat for the All Party Parliamentary Small Shops Group.

The retail sectors that IRC members represent may be unique, but the challenges that they and their members face are not.

The IRC has three work streams, sharing intelligence and ideas on their respective work in these fields: 

  • Political
  • Commercial
  • Skills

Any organisation interested in supporting the development of the independent retail sector in the UK is welcome to join The Independent Retailers Confederation. Participation within the IRC is free and members normally meet three times a year.

Trade association members of the Independent Retailers Confederation are listed on the Members Page

The IRC is chaired by ActSmart / Association of Cycle Traders.
Association of Convenience Stores takes the lead on Political matters.
National Skills Academy for Retail takes the lead on Skills matters.
ActSmart takes the lead on Commercial matters.

IRC Officers

Chair' - Mark Walmsley (ActSmart)

Vice Chair'- Meryl Halls (Booksellers Association)

If you would like to join us or believe that you can assist the Independent Retailers Confederation in furthering our objectives please contact us.

Media and political queries please contact Ed Woodall at ACS.


Association of Convenience Stores

Association of Cycle Traders

Booksellers Association

British Independent Retailers Association

Craft Bakers Association 

Entertainment Retailers Association

Federation of Wholesale Distributors

Guild of Fine Food

National Federation of Retail Newsagents

National Hairdressers Federation

The British Sandwich & Food to Go Association

The Cafe Life Association

The Horticultural Trades Association

The National Federation of Meat and Food Traders