BA holds first session of Independent Retailer Forum

The BA has held the first session of a new forum for the independent bicycle retail sector.

The association hosted a dozen leading independent retailers, representing the varied sizes, regions and channels of the sector, in early December, hot on the heels of the independent retailer panel session broadcast during its annual conference.

The Independent Retailer Forum (IRF) is intended to bring the voice of retail to both inform and deliver the strategy of the BA.

Amongst the topics raised at the initial meeting were Cycle to Work initiatives, the demands and profitability of workshop services, and ideas for strengthened communications across the supply chain. Contributors included single door IBDs, founding members of the Bicycle Dealers Association and some of the largest cycle retailers online and in-store in the UK.

“For a long time we have aspired to bring a forum like this into the centre of our activities,” said Stephen Holt, retail trade manager at the BA.” Giving a voice and listening to the independent retail sector makes us a stronger association, better placed to build on the outstanding accomplishments of 2020 as we look to the future together. We were privileged to have our initial session attended by such exceptional and varied retailers and are excited about building on our first meeting.”

The BA will convene its IRF on a regular basis to establish a direct relationship between retailers and the unique advocacy activities of the BA.

“The Bicycle Association is the national representative body for the UK cycling industry,” added executive director of the BA Steve Garidis. “We need to speak with one voice as a whole industry to influence Government and secure policies which grow the market for everyone. Convening an Independent Retailer Forum is an acknowledgement that we can better represent the entire industry by listening to the people who deliver the last yard, day in day out.

“The new year will see the simplification of BA membership for our retailers, ensuring they can more easily take part in the association’s work, shape our advocacy, and also benefit from industry-funded programmes and non-profit support, whether that’s market data or collectively negotiated rates on finance previously only available to the largest businesses.”

IRF attendees: Bay Cycles, Cotswold Cycles, Don Skene Cycles, Edinburgh Bicycle Cooperative, Fudges Cycle Store, Highway Cycles, JE James, Ken Foster’s Cycles, McConvey Cycles, Pauls Cycles, Saddles and Paddles, Twenty3c and Ron Spencer Cycles.

If you are interested in the IRF or BA retailer membership, please email emma@bicycleassociation.org.uk or call 0203 857 4411.

Read the December issue of BikeBiz below:

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