The Independent Achievers Academy (IAA), which is run by Retail Express publisher Newtrade, is the UK’s top learning and development project for independent news and convenience retailers.

The programme for 2014 has now launched – here three retailers give examples of how they have benefited from being part of the Academy:

“Last year was the first year we entered the IAA. We hadn’t entered before because until then we weren’t confident our shop was good enough. Since winning an IAA award, we’ve had more interest from suppliers wanting to work with us – it’s given us more credibility. The IAA offers retailers a great opportunity. It’s great for the sector.” – David Charman, Spar Parkfoot Garages, Kent

 I am going from strength-to-strength with the IAA

“Since taking the store over from my father in October, through social media, marketing and networking, I’ve increased my turnover by £2,000 per week. If you’re bogged down in the day-to-day chores in your store, you’re just a shopkeeper. If you come to trade shows like the Independent Retail Show or become part of events like the Independent Achievers’ Academy, then you’re a businessman.” – Raaj Chandarana, Tara’s News (Premier), High Wycombe, Bucks

“The IAA has given us lots of areas to look at in terms of how to improve our shop. Listening to other retailers and suppliers has enabled us to approach the shop with a different set of eyes, and seeing how the areas that we specialise in help to set me apart. I look forward to going from strength-to-strength with them.” – Mark Dudden, AJ & B Dudden, Cardiff

Click here to watch the video from the launch event

To enter, and for more information about the Independent Achievers Academy, visit www.betterretailing.com/IAA/