BHF-BSSA Group unveiled a new name today – British Independent Retailers Association.
The name, which will be shortened to BIRA, was adopted at the association’s annual general meeting. Announcing the change, CEO Alan Hawkins said that BIRA “heralds an important new force in the world of independents”.
The BHF-BSSA name was adopted in the 2009 merger of the BHF Group and the British Shops and Stores Association. But it was always intended that once the merger had been consolidated, the organisation should have a new and clearer identity.
Welcoming the new name, communications director Michael Weedon commented: “BIRA is all about communicating. When we speak for independents with government and with the media we will have a simple name and a clear identity. This will help us fulfil our stated aim of being the voice of independent retailers.”
The association also said that its various divisions – BHF, BSSA, BAGMA, CHA, HDRA and PPRA – would all continue to have a vital role and “retain their full importance to those members making their living in specialist areas of high street trading”.
Incoming president Russell Johnson said that, for example, removing BHF from the association’s name freed the federation to become again “a clearly-defined and readily-understood trade association in its own right”.