Under its original name of Northern Wholesalers Co-operative Society Limited, TIR was formed 66 years ago by a group of independent traders to improve their buying power as well as their service and prices for consumers.
Through energetic leadership the co-op has established a high-profile statewide identity over the years, with retail supply responsibilities to numerous past bannered outlets including Four Square Stores, Sam's Cut Price Stores, Value Plus, Rite-way, Fabulous Food Stores, Festival IGA, Family Fare, Quick-n-Thrifty and Family World.
In the history of independent retail supermarket and grocery stores in Tasmania, 1981 saw the greatest leap forward with the establishment of Statewide Independent Wholesalers (SIW), a joint venture between the Co-operative and Rolf Vos Supermarkets.
The consolidation of group purchases for both organisations under the hospice of SIW resulted in improved efficiencies in the supply chain logistics and hence lower cost for both retail owners of the business and ultimately the Tasmanian consumer.
February 1989 saw Northern Wholesalers Co-operative Society Limited became part of Australian/Asia Associated Wholesalers (AAW) – a united national network for independent supermarket retailers, backed by wholesale strength.
This association subsequently lead to the Co-operatives involvement and association in NARGA (National Australian Retailers Grocers Association) which provided industry support and representation for the independent grocery sector over many years.
In 1993 the Co-operative adopted the trading name of Tasmanian Independent Wholesalers (TIW) which cemented the evolutionary change in its role to more effectively emphasise its statewide identity and to highlight its members’ independence, ownership and operation by Tasmanians.
In 2005 the Co-operative adopted a new trading name of Tasmanian Independent Retailers (TIR) which more correctly represented its core business activities of representing the interest of independent grocery retailers within Tasmania.