About the NFRN: The Federation of Independent Retailers

The NFRN was founded in 1919 and is one of Europe’s largest employers’ associations with over 15,000 independent 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 we are the official government referral body for the sector and are a powerful voice for the independent retailer.

Membership of the NFRN consists of a variety of independent retailers, including: newsagents, convenience stores, confectioners, florists, petrol forecourts, news deliverers, off-licences, post offices, coffee shops, and card & stationery shops.


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
Mike Mitchelson

National Vice President
Stuart Reddish

National Deputy Vice President
Muntazir Dipoti

Immediate Past President
Linda Sood

Jason Birks
Peter Wagg
John Parkinson
Gwen Patterson
Bhavesh Patel

National Trustees
Martin Ward
Sunil Patel
Nilesh Patel

Meet our Senior Management Team

NFRN Head of Public Affairs and Communications Adrian Roper profile picture

Adrian Roper

Head of Political Engagement

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 is focused on 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 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 18 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

Head of IT and Facilities

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

As Head of IT and Facilities, with overall responsibility for the IT infrastructure, database, property, cars, equipment, contracts, services and insurance etc., Stephen manages the largest budget outside of salaries and works closely with all facets of the business 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

Head of Communications

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 Head of Communications, Anne is focused on providing internal and external communications, along with managing the Fed magazine, the nfrnonline website, and all social media and PR for the Federation.

Sanjiv Dembla

Sanjiv Dembla

Financial Controller

Having joined the NFRN in July 2018, Sanjiv has over 20 years experience as a qualified accountant working for a variety of industries ranging from professional services such as Pricewaterhousecoopers and Marakon Associates, through to retail / hospitality / leisure such as Bahlsen Ltd (Confectionery), Orient Express Trains & Cruises, and Flipout Ltd. Sanjiv’s last position was as a Finance Director for City of London based telecoms / reprographics company Charterhouse Voice & Data PLC for 12 years.

As the Federation’s Financial Controller, Sanjiv is responsible for the day-to-day finance operations, dealing with the management and financial accounts collation, safeguarding the assets and making sure there are efficient and effective financial controls.

Member Benefits

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

NFRN Legal Plus

NFRN Legal Plus

Access a comprehensive package of legal support for your business to ensure you stay on top of complex legislation changes.

NFRN Connect

NFRN Connect

Dedicated member call centre to assist you with all queries and new business opportunities.

NFRN Legal

NFRN Legal

A free member legal helpline for telephone based legal advice available 24 hours a day.

NFRN Political Engagement

NFRN Political Engagement

Working to make sure all your concerns and opinions are represented and heard by MPs, MSPs and industry decision makers.