The British Independent Retailers Association (Bira) confirmed today (Wednesday August 14) an investment in Mica, which will see the UK co-operative group of 50-plus DIY, hardware and garden shops join the association as a new division. Bira will become a major shareholder in Mica.
Bira ceo Andrew Goodacre said: “This is an exciting time for Bira and Mica employees, members and suppliers, as this new partnership not only increases our influence in the corridors of Westminster, but also forms the largest hardware & DIY buying group available for independent store owners. The move also means Mica members will benefit from the wider range of support services that Bira has been providing to its [6,000] members for over 120 years.”
Bira Direct md Jeff Moody added: “We’re excited to be joining forces with Mica, who bring 20 years of experience in consumer marketing. We expect both Mica and Bira members to benefit through wider access to more suppliers at preferential rates that allow independent retailers to compete with the retail giants.”
Mica ceo Michael Ball commented: “I’m proud to have led Mica as an independent retailer group to our best ever year in 2018 – but agree with our members that we are strongest working together, especially in these challenging times for the high street.
“Mica and Bira have the same vision: to ensure the high street can continue to thrive. Mica’s continued co-operative status as a division of Bira will retain its identity and heritage. It’s a real win-win for members, suppliers and high-street consumers.”
The agreement, which was ratified at an EGM of Mica members yesterday (Tuesday August 13), will see Mica relocate to new offices in Birmingham after a short transition. Mica and Bira have both consulted with employees and members to provide assurance that there will be a continuity of management.