03 Apr 2024

Retail association strengthens membership base with merger 

Jeff Moody.jpg

The British Independent Retailers Association has announced the merger of Retra, the Radio, Electrical and Television Retailers’ Association, marking a milestone in their histories.

Bira, who work with over 6,000 independent businesses of all sizes across the UK, said the expansion shows its commitment to supporting and advocating for independent retails in the consumer electronics industry.

Established in 1942, Retra has been instrumental in representing the interests of retailers and service providers in the electrical retail and services sector. With over 500 trusted member companies across the UK, Retra has been pivotal in driving business growth and fostering professional development within the industry.

Jeff Moody, commercial director of Bira, said they were delighted to welcome Retra members into the Bira family, and emphasised the shared commitment to supporting independent retailers.

He said: "We did not want to see Retra close. However, we are thrilled to continue Retra's legacy by providing unwavering support to independent electrical retailers."

Under the merger, Bira has pledged to uphold the Retra name, recognising its significance within the electrical retail sector.

Members can expect continuity in existing services, including insurance, training, website support, and publications such as ALERT. Moreover, Bira will serve as a dedicated advocate for the sector, engaging with government bodies to ensure favourable policies for businesses.

Mr Moody added: "Our lobbying and campaign efforts have historically yielded tangible results, and we remain steadfast in championing the interests of our members. Bira's advocacy has led to significant victories, such as the introduction of the small business Retail Rates Discount, providing a 75 per cent discount, directly benefiting independent retailers."

In addition to existing services, Retra members will gain access to a range of Bira's membership benefits, including a professionally managed legal helpline and preferential rates with Global Payments. Bira's membership team stands ready to provide comprehensive support to Retra members and their businesses.

Mr Moody added: "Bira's exclusive focus on independent retailers reaffirming our commitment to serving the retail sector for over 125 years. Bira represents only retail, and we are dedicated to supporting independent businesses like these."

This merger follows Bira's successful integration of the Association of Cycle Traders (ACT) in June 2023, further consolidating its position as it being the voice to advocate for independent retailers.

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