Both trade bodies will combine their day-to-day operations, whilst retaining their separate identities. GA members’ services and benefits will not be affected but now BTAA members will have access to GA initiatives and its service providers.
Originally known as the Saddlery, Harness and General Leathergoods Manufacturers Association, the BTAA celebrates its centenary this year, and sees this merger as ‘an opportunity to enhance and expand services to members’. The Association said it ‘has a rich history of serving the travel and leathergoods industries’ but feels that ‘in today’s diverse market, the general interests of members can be better served by sharing the experiences of the two organisations’.
The 71-year-old Giftware Association said it was set up ‘to serve the home and giftware industry in helping members save money, make money and realise their business goals. With new initiatives such as its Meet the Buyer events, The Gift of The Year competition and The GA Yearbook, it has adapted into its changing environment to be an association fit for the future and is always looking for new services to benefit its members’.
The Giftware Association ceo Sarah Ward said: “We’re incredibly excited to build on the BTAA’s amazing history and take it into the next era. We’re looking forward to offering BTAA members more initiatives and benefits which they can use to achieve their business goals, whilst also offering them the same great service that they’re used to. This merger provides a great base for us to grow the association and bring both industries closer together.”
BTAA chair Janette Faulkner added: “We’re very excited by this merger, and the opportunities which it affords us. We see it as a win-win for our members, who will keep the benefits of BTAA membership, plus the added services of our new innovative partner.”