Newtrade has acquired the Independent Retail Show (IRS) from NFRN Commercial in a deal that aims to further establish it as the major event for local shopkeepers.

The acquisition follows the successful IRS13 event, held in conjunction with NFRN Commercial, in Manchester last October. After last year’s show nearly three quarters of retailer visitors said they would “definitely or probably” return to IRS14.

“The growth of on-line shopping actually provides a great opportunity for local shops in the news and convenience channel as they sell lots of fast moving small value items to local people. Stuff that it is just not convenient to order on-line,” says Nick Shanagher, managing director of Newtrade.

“While shopkeepers can get plenty of information and advice on their smart phones or in other ways, our loyal audience of local retailers from all over the UK repeatedly tell us there is a great benefit to meeting fellow retailers and quality suppliers face-to-face. This is a great opportunity for us to build on the development work of NFRN Commercial.”

NFRN Commercial chief executive Paul Baxter said: “NFRN Commercial established the IRS as an important calendar event but we know that Newtrade can drive the show to new heights. We therefore look forward to supporting Newtrade during 2014 to ensure that the IRS remains the number one event for independent retailers.

“Through NFRN Commercial and through Shoplink, we aim to help independent retailers find new sales opportunities to build profits and customer loyalty so we shall be at Event City in October this year with a host of exciting deals to ensure our members can get the most from their businesses.”