The NFRN was founded in 1919 and is one of Europe’s largest employers’ associations with over 15,000 independent news and convenience retailers in membership throughout the UK and Ireland.

Even though our roots go back to 1893, the first recorded national meeting was in Leicester, in 1919.

We exist to help the independent retailer compete more effectively in today’s highly competitive market by providing practical help and assistance, commercial support, deals and buying opportunities, training, expertise and services.

The NFRN also actively represents its members’ interests at governmental and parliamentary level and within the news and magazine industry. We are the official government referral body for the sector and are a powerful voice for the independent retailer.


Our Motto

“Where’er one man can help another, thank God for such a birthright, brother.”
J. Russell Lowell

Our Objectives

Federation Objectives

  • To be the voice of the independent retailer and 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, thus enabling them to run financially successful businesses.
  • To ensure the organisation operates efficiently while providing a structure that is relevant to the needs of members in a challenging and ever-changing marketplace.

Membership Services

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

Public Affairs

  • Maximise the external profile of the Federation to the benefit of the organisation and its members.
  • Represent member interests and promote positive legislation and trading conditions.

Business Development

  • Assist, practically support and encourage members in running financial successful business.
  • Provide training and development to both members and staff to meet the changing needs of the market place.

Operational Requirements

  • Maintain a structure relevant to the needs of members in a changing marketplace.
  • Maintain a sound financial base to meet Federation objectives.
  • Grow and develop Federation Membership.

NFRN Officials

National President – Raymond Monelle

National Vice President – Linda Sood

National Deputy Vice President – Mike Mitchelson

Immediate Past President – Ralph Patel

Meet our Senior Management Team

NFRN CEO Paul Baxter profile picture

Paul Baxter

Chief Executive

As Chief Executive of the NFRN since 2011, Paul has sought to improve and maximise the range of benefits and services offered to members while also overseeing a step change in the NFRN’s political engagement.

With a wealth of experience in the retail trade, having held senior posts within several of the country’s leading retailers during his 32-year career, Paul is well equipped to represent the interests of independent newsagents and convenience stores and lead the development of the NFRN’s future strategy, as well as managing  member services and commercial support opportunities.

Always promoting the cause of independent retailers, Paul has become a regular on radio and television, including BBC One’s The Big Questions and national and local radio.

NFRN Head of Operations Margaret McCloskey profile picture

Margaret McCloskey

Head of Operations

Having been with the NFRN for over 19 years and Head of Operations since September 2012, Margaret’s experience in this and the training & development industries enabled her to develop a dedicated team of 30 personnel whose prime focus is helping members grow and maintain successful, thriving businesses across the UK and Ireland.

Margaret has been instrumental in the growth of many of the NFRN’s key projects such as the introduction of new benefits and services, however, her most recent success is the implementation of Retail Standards, which produced the first four in a range of Retail Insight Modules.  Margaret’s friendly approach and dedication results in positive engagement with industry suppliers and retailers on a range of issues affecting today’s retail market.

NFRN Head of Public Affairs and Communications Adrian Roper profile picture

Adrian Roper

Head of Public Affairs and Communications

After a career in investment banking in the City of London and heading up a successful election campaign at the 2010 general election, Adrian worked in Westminster for two of the 2010 intake of MPs. From there he moved to run a Police and Crime Commissioner campaign.

Adrian joined the NFRN in December 2012 and was promoted to head up the newly combined Public Affairs and Communications team in January 2014. He leads a team of three, focused on providing internal and external communications and campaigning on issues that impact the 15,000 NFRN members across the UK and Ireland. Adrian has an MA in International Relations from the University of Kent.

NFRN Head of Finance Mike Jenkins profile picture

Mike Jenkins

Head of Finance

Mike joined the NFRN’s accounts department in 1999 as fees, payroll and pensions administrator until his promotion in 2008 to management accountant and, more latterly, to Head of Finance.

Mike has a wealth of experience in all elements of the Federation’s accounts function and on his promotion in 2008 he upgraded the accounts system to Sage Line 200 and introduced a specialist ‘A la Carte’ account reporting function.

NFRN Head of News Brian Murphy profile picture

Brian Murphy

Head of News

With significant news experience gained from working in multiple retail groups and in wholesaling, Brian joined the NFRN in 2005. He is responsible for managing the two news operations managers and the NFRN Connect service, where his primary focus is to ensure that all member complaints regarding wholesaler and publisher service failures are addressed and that the news supply chain is kept abreast of members’ concerns.

Working with the news business development manager, Brian is also responsible for identifying new business opportunities for members to earn extra profit, through bespoke promotions as well as through the NFRN’s Newspro and Store2Door initiatives.

NFRN Head of Member Services Theresa Neale profile picture

Theresa Neale

Head of Member Services

Having worked for the NFRN for 17 years, Theresa is responsible for a team of five membership services managers throughout the UK and Ireland, and the administration team based in Durham. Her role as Head of Member Services ensures that every issue relating to officials and members is dealt with in a professional manner.

Before joining the NFRN, Theresa worked for financial institutions, was a newsagent and an NFRN member and was employed by two news wholesalers, giving her the knowledge to understand both sides of the trade. In her role Theresa will ensure best practice guidelines for the team as well as ensuring that her team work alongside the officials to promote the NFRN and moving forward with the restructure within branches and districts.

NFRN IT and Facilities Manager Stephen Burridge profile picture

Stephen Burridge

IT and Facilities Manager

Having joined the NFRN in 1985 as Commercial Assistant, Stephen has held a number of positions within the organisation and developed a wealth of experience by working closely with national committees and senior management alike.

As IT and Facilities Manager, with overall responsibility for the IT infrastructure, database, property, equipment, contracts, services and insurance, Stephen manages the largest budget outside of salaries and works closely with the Chief Executive to provide the technical tools and infrastructure to allow the organisation to service its members in the most efficient and cost effective manner.

NFRN Communications Manager Anne Bingham profile picture

Anne Bingham

Communications Manager

Having championed the cause of independent retailers for more than 11 years as editor of the former retail trade magazine CTN, Anne spent seven years working as the Communications Manager for the Association of Newspaper and Magazine Wholesalers and a year as a PR manager for Durex before joining the NFRN in 2007.

As Communications Manager, Anne edits the Fed magazine, manages the nfrnonline website and all social media and looks after PR for the Federation.

Member Benefits

Members benefit from a variety of business services, resources and support, including:

NFRN Assist

NFRN Assist

NFRN Assist can offer confidential support, direction and solutions to financial worries.

The Retail Mutual

The Retail Mutual

Providing members with business, liability, home and residential landlord cover options, tailored to the needs of retailers.

The Fed

The Fed

Free member magazine keeping you up to date on all industry and business developments.

NFRN Commercial

NFRN Commercial

Specialises in providing commercial deals for products and services tailor-made for independent retailers.