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BSSA-BHF renames as British Independent Retailers Association

The BSSA-BHF, the association representing independent retailers around the country, has been renamed the British Independent Retailers Association, or BIRA, in a bid to “reflect the modern retail environment”.

Speaking at the association’s annual general meeting and conference in Kent today, chief executive Alan Hawkins said the new name and refreshed logo would represent “a bit of a step change”.

It follows the merger of the British Shops and Stores Association (BSSA) and the British Hardware Federation (BHF) in September 2009.

BIRA has chosen the phrase ‘The Voice of Independent Retailers’ as its strapline.

Hawkins said: “We have dealt with the issues of the merger and now we need a new identity designed to say exactly what we are about, to be clear and unambiguous.

“Among our aims are retaining our heritage and our core membership while attracting new and younger businesses to the group.

“We have to be seen to be reflecting the modern retail environment.”

Deputy chief executive and communications director Michael Weedon added: “A lot of the new identity is about conversations, talking to the government and to the media. Our old name obscured and hampered us. I am sure the new logo is going to assist us in being heard.”

The association has almost 1,500 independent fashion retailer members and almost 4,000 in total, taking in to account department stores and any stores that sell fashion as part of their offer.

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