The Bira Family


Since the foundation of the very first association, The British Hardware Federation (BHF) in 1899 and The British Shops and Stores Association (BSSA) after, it has been our mission to work together to support and fight for the independent retail sector. Over the years, the form of that support has changed as the retail industry has changed. However, we remain equally as passionate about rallying together to benefit from the louder voice, the negotiating power and to stand alongside the larger chain retail businesses.  

We're proud to be made up of numerous trade associations covering different sectors of retail.



The Association of Cycle Traders (ACT) is the largest cycle trade membership organisation in the UK and has been promoting cycling for over 100 years.

MICA is a co-operative of independent DIY, home & garden retailers - the only one of its kind in the UK, offering flexible and dynamic marketing, competitive terms and business support. Read more here.

Retra was founded in 1942 with the aim of bringing together businesses. It's now the UK’s leading trade association for independent electrical retailers and servicing organisations.


Stronger Together 

We're proud to be working with many other associations, services, charities and organisations that provide support to the independent retail sector. 


Our History 


As part of our history we've shown support to and celebrated many industry-specific associations too.