The two prime trade associations for independent retailers created the leading member organisation for non-food high street shops yesterday when they signed formal merger documents.
The new body, BHF-BSSA Group, formed to strengthen the supporting services and representational power of thousands of local shops, was unveiled at a signing ceremony at London’s Army & Navy Club.
New group CEO Alan Hawkins said: “Bringing together these two well-established retail trade associations has to be the right move for the members. With over 8,000 retail members we will speak as the most important group representing small and medium non-food retail businesses.
“The increased negotiating power for our services, a larger market into which they can be delivered and real economies of scale will all help bolster the ability of the association to support its members at a time when it is needed more than ever.”
Communications director Michael Weedon added: “Expect to hear from us about every issue that bears disproportionately on the independent high street retailer, whether it’s regulation, business rates, employment, age-restricted sales, town centres, taxes, planning, competition or any of a hundred burdens heaped on them by government.”