The European DIY Retail Association (EDRA) became an independent body this week, having previously been administered by the French FMB and the German BHB.
The decision was made official at a meeting held in Berlin on Tuesday where all the EDRA members unanimously agreed upon the new Articles of the Association.
It was also agreed that EDRA would now open its doors to form a 'Global Home Improvement Network', allowing members outside Europe to become associate members and to benefit from the affiliation of the EDRA network.
The EDRA board (Régis Degelcke of Group Adeo, Ian Cheshire of Kingfisher, Ray Colman of Woodie's DIY, Martin Essl of bauMax AG, Sergio Giroldi of OBI AG, Carl Otto Løvenskiold of Løvenskiold-Vækerø AS and Nick Wilkinson of Maxeda B.V.) will remain in position for the next three years. John W Herbert was also confirmed as the general secretary of the association.
EDRA president, Régis Degelcke of Group Adeo, said: "This momentous occasion reinforces the spirit of EDRA which is to establish unity across the European home improvement industry in order to create a strong voice and representation for its members."
EDRA's objectives going forward are to develop the international network and promote communication between members. To this end, the association is to open a lobby office in Brussels to "pursue the interests of the home centre industry in Europe", which, EDRA estimates to be approximately €80bn.
EDRA membership currently has five trade associations, these being the German BHB, the French FMB, the Spanish ADFB, the Italian Assofermet and the Finnish RaSi ry. The direct European members of EDRA in the future will be Baucenter, Bricoalliance, Byggmax, Epicentrek, Focus, Homebase, Kesko, Kingfisher, Løvenskiold, Maxeda Group, Merkur, OBI, Silvan, Stroy Arsenal, Stroymart, Travis Perkins, Woodie's DIY. EDRA now has members from 18 countries operating in 38 countries.