The British Independent Retailers Association (bira) has revealed a strategic restructuring ‘to meet the evolving needs of its members’.
The body best known for championing the independent high street retailer has reorganised its membership and marketing teams. Former Marketing Director Sarah Golden is the new Marketing and Membership Director and former Membership Director Robert Jarrett is taking full responsibility for Professional Services and Special Projects.
In September 2011, Sarah Golden was the first female main board director appointed in the associations’ 114-year history, and is a key driver in the organisation’s development.
Now responsible for developing the membership of bira, Sarah has put a new team structure in place, which started with the appointment of a National Membership and Key Accounts Manager, Oliver Humi, in place of the former National Sales Manager.
Humi joins the organisation with a wealth of experience in the membership world and will lead the membership team in developing and growing the bira membership base.
Independent retailers will benefit from clearer points of contact with a direct line into a new Membership Engagement Team led by Debbie Carter, who has been with the organisation for 18 years.
Debbie’s team will service the needs and enquiries of existing members in all sectors and is based at the Banbury office. A Birmingham-based Membership Recruitment Team, led by Sue Beard, with more than 13 years’ experience with the organisation, will be recruiting new members and will support the Regional Membership Managers in the field.
Commenting on her new appointment, Sarah said: “UK high streets are undergoing a period of tremendous change; consumers’ shopping habits are changing fast, presenting a multitude of challenges for the traditional independent retailer.
My new role is to ensure that we support our retailers in tangible and immediate ways that help them to evolve and become more efficient and profitable.”
She continued: “The new membership and marketing teams will ensure our members are front and centre of everything we do. We’ll draw upon our 100+ history, but will continue to challenge the perceptions of what traditional trade associations can achieve for its members, by providing real support where it’s needed.
I’m delighted to be a part of this evolution within such a well-respected organisation – we are truly the independent retailers’ best friend… watch this space!”
Chief Executive, Alan Hawkins commented: “In spite of the difficult economic climate for retailers in the UK, my colleagues and I are convinced that we are taking the right steps to keep pace with our members’ changing needs and are now able to extend our services to even more deserving independent and family-owned retailers nationwide.
The strategic restructuring, with a greater focus on the marketing and sale of innovative, retail-specific memberships and services, will ensure more and more independent retailers benefit from the tangible support we can give.”
In support of the membership team restructure, the organisation has also appointed Sarah Arnesen as Marketing Manager to lead the bira marketing team under Golden.
Matthew Froome has also been promoted from Senior Marketing Executive to Marketing Manager for the group’s commercial subsidiaries, bira bank, bira direct direct and bira publishing. Kate Godber also joins the team to support Golden in a PA capacity.