Associated Independent Stores, or AIS for short, is the largest independent non-food buying group of its kind in the UK and Ireland and its 260 or so members have a combined retail turnover of around £1.8 billion. The group supports independent retailers ranging from single high street shops to flagship department stores and specialist retailers operating over 600 outlets across the UK, Ireland and Channel Islands.
AIS enables independent retailers to profit from the level of buying power and services normally enjoyed by big high street chains – yet with no loss of their independence. The principal objective of AIS is to increase member profitability. Collective buying power means that major suppliers across a wide range of furniture, floor coverings, homewares and fashion merchandise are keen to do business with AIS on some of the best terms available to anyone for the benefit of our members.
But AIS is more than just a buying group. As well as providing members with access to major brands in a wide variety of merchandise categories, the group's in-house team of experienced selectors source exclusive products and develop Own Brands to strengthen the independent retailer’s point of difference in the high street and improve margins.
AIS also gives its members access to key support services such as an efficient central payment facility (CENPAC) and expert advice in areas such as training, personnel, marketing, procurement and information technology.
In short, AIS is a broad ranging organisation that has unique experience of supporting the independent retailer and it welcomes direct approaches from interested, independently minded, quality retailers and from prospective suppliers who wish to find out more about the organisation.