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BA launches IBD Trade Network

The Bicycle Association (BA) has launched a ‘Trade Network’ to connect independent bike shops with its advocacy work and support programmes.

The Association has developed the Trade Network to ensure independent cycle retailers are a central part of its strategy to grow the market and strengthen the industry.

The new Trade Network will formally give bike shops a voice in the BA’s advocacy work and will also – for the first time – open up support programmes to provide independent cycle retailers with resources including retail finance, legal and HR support, all on terms previously only available to large businesses.

The Trade Network has been developed with and is supported by four leading BA members: Giant, Raleigh, Specialized and Trek. The initial soft-launch phase will work with retailers that sell these brands. After this initial period, and after implementing feedback from the first phase of participating IBDs, it will be rolled out as widely as possible across the industry.

The Trade Network will provide participating dealers with:

-A voice in the BA’s advocacy work and specific representation as the BA engages with Government
– Market insight via the BA’s new Market Data Service
– Consumer finance at rates otherwise only available to large businesses
– Packages providing meaningful levels of retained legal and HR support.

Trade Network retailers will be able to access consumer finance by Klarna, legal support by Law Express and HR support by Avensure.

BA Associate Director Daniel Gillborn said: “I’m truly excited to be launching the BA’s Trade Network as a way to ensure our vital independent sector is properly represented in our advocacy work, and to enable IBDs to benefit from our support programmes.

As the UK cycling industry’s national trade body, we have an ambitious strategy to grow the market and secure the future of all businesses across our industry. We recognise the key role independent cycle retailers play and so it makes perfect sense for us to use our unique position as an influential, non-profit national trade body to directly address retailers’ needs as part of our mission to support the whole industry.”

The Trade Network is operated entirely on a not-for-profit basis so that the maximum benefit can be passed on to retailers. It’s funded by the contributions, collected via participating brands such as Giant, Raleigh, Specialized and Trek, which retailers already make to support the Bicycle Association’s advocacy initiatives. The initial elements of the Trade Network support package (representation, access to Market Data Service, consumer finance, Legal and HR support) were identified after close consultation with retailers.

BA Trade Network lead, Stephen Holt, said: “Independent cycle retailers continue to be an important sector, for customers and for our supplier members and also of course for their key role in supporting the growth of cycling in communities across the UK. We’ve worked hard to identify and address the specific needs of our retailer colleagues.

The specific support services which we have brought together in the Trade Network create real value. The Market Data Service gives our participating dealers access to detailed, up to date insights on sales trends. We also know that the cost of retail finance is a real concern for many IBD, so we are tackling that head-on. Also, while bigger companies may have lawyers on tap, retailers told us that affordable but effective legal and HR support is essential to provide them with the confidence that they can deal with incidents quickly, cost-effectively and professionally. Finally, being part of the Bicycle Association means that the independent dealer voice will be represented at the highest level as we lobby the Government to support cycling and to help our industry thrive.

We are excited to bring a diverse network of retailers into the Bicycle Association, offering them the opportunity to participate fully in our work to grow the industry and to benefit from a great package of tools to support their businesses and boost profitability.”

Retailers can find out more about the service at www.bicycleassociation.org.uk/trade-network or by contacting the Bicycle Association on 0203 857 4411.

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