Going forward the association will now be known as the British Independent Retailers Association, or Bira.
The unveiling of its new group identity, including the new name and logo, was one of the highlights of yesterday's AGM, which also saw The national presidential chain pass from John Morris to new president Russell Johnson of Johnsons of Rainham in Kent.
Addressing delegates directly after accepting the chain of office, Mr Johnson said, "I intend to see our new group name shouted from the rooftops. My vision is that the new logo will be instantly recognised by the public."
The new name was unveiled by the association's ceo Alan Hawkins, and is designed to reflect the diverse groups of retailers the association now represents, since the BHF/BSSA merger and, he said, "says exactly what we're about". However, all sector associations, including the BHF and the CHA, will continue to operate under the new umbrella organisation. "Our divisions are our strength," said Mr Hawkins, "and all the names will stay."
However, BHF Direct, BHF Finance and Indices, the associations publishing divisions will be rebranded as Bira direct, Bira finance and Bira publishing respectively.
Mr Hawkins acknowledged all the work that had gone into the new name and branding, but said, "the new name is nothing, it's what we do with it that's important". And going forward, he made it clear that the association would be all about independent, 'sustainable family businesses' and that it would "welcome all independent retailers," but expected the majority of growth to come from specialist sectors.