This figure takes into account membership renewals, which are well up on last year, plus the addition of 23 new home improvement members and 11 housewares members.
BHETA executive director for housewares Will Jones attributed the increase to the number of new services and initiatives launched by the association in the past 12 months.
One example is BHETA Bank: a collaboration with bira (British Independent Retailers Association) which offers members very competitive rates and special one-off deals such as car finance loans.
BHETA has also increased its export focus, with the launch of a new export committee chaired by What More UK director Tony Grimshaw OBE. The first in a series of trade missions took place in October to Slovenia and will form the model for similar future events.
Another first is the launch of the consumer-facing National Home Improvement Awareness Week (NHIW), which will be held ahead of the key Easter period. This initiative is designed to encourage householders to think about improving their homes and gardens through renovation, refurbishment and decorating.
The project is being driven by BHETA home improvement and garden executive director, Paul Grinsell is supported by 13 supplier brands as well as retail and wholesale organisations. Paul commented: “It’s already clear that NHIW has significant growth potential as a means of generating additional revenue and brand exposure for the members who get involved, as it targets consumers, who are the ultimate customer.”
The trade body has increased its lobbying role too, working with the CBI on Brexit issues, engaging with retailers who make unfair demands for additional contributions, and addressing the Government’s proposed legislative changes on the sale of knives and corrosive substances.
BHETA also continues to offer networking and retail engagement opportunities including forums, Meet the Buyer events and the annual London trade shows Exclusively Housewares and Exclusively Electrical.
For more information about BHETA, contact the Member Services Team on 0121 237 1130 or visit www.bheta.co.uk.