One hundred customer-focused news and convenience stores were named today as the best in the UK by the leading business development programme for independent retailers, the Independent Achievers Academy (IAA).

The IAA Top 100 list celebrates both the excellence and the diversity of independent retailing across the UK. It is compiled after a rigorous evaluation process, including a comprehensive entry and mystery shop assessment. All entrants are judged across 12 core principles of retailing, from customer service through to retail innovation.

“The way we shop has changed forever and consumers are finding great local retailers help them save time and money while providing supermarket levels of service, quality and keen prices. It is hard work for independent retailers but there are great rewards and the Academy shares proven ideas on how to set up your shop properly to win shopper loyalty,” said Newtrade managing director Nick Shanagher.

“Our list of the Top 100 recognises the hard work that retailers and their staff are putting in all over the country. We are lucky to be able to showcase what great local retail looks like, which helps family businesses to further develop and compete to serve their local communities.”

Elevate Retail Solutions, one of the UK’s top field marketing agencies, works in partnership with the IAA to mystery shop the stores that enter and all will receive a feedback report to benchmark their strengths and to identify opportunities for improvement.

The IAA Top 100 provides a long list for the final judging that identifies the UK’s top local stores in each of the 12 categories and the overall top shop. A panel comprising the editors of Retail Newsagent and Retail Express and 12 leading industry experts will meet to select the winners. The final shortlist will be announced at betterRetailing LIVE on 6 October.

Retail entrepreneur and best-selling author Jeff Pearce will announce the winners at the IAA Gala Dinner in London on 26 November, which is one of the most keenly awaited events in the retail calendar.

For the full list of the IAA Top 100 retailers in the UK, please visit betterretailing.com/iaa/top-100-retailers/

To book your table at the Gala Dinner, which will be held at Sheraton Park Lane Hotel, please contact Emma Wilson on 020 7689 3384 or emma.wilson@newtrade.co.uk.