UK-based Independent Retailers Association (Bira) has expanded its portfolio by acquiring the cycle trade membership organisation Association of Cycle Traders (ACT).

With this acquisition, Bira will add more than 1,000 independent retailers to its portfolio.

The acquisition will expand Bira’s membership base and strengthen its position as one of the UK’s leading representatives for independent retailers.

It is also expected to bring growth opportunities and new partnerships within the sector.

In a statement, Bira said that the deal aligns with its commitment to assist and empower independent retailers within different sectors.

The acquired retailers will have access to the services and benefits of the association offers, such as business development advice, legal and HR assistance, training prospects and access to deals and discounts.

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The terms of the transaction have not been disclosed.

The deal comes when the cycle industry prospers, partly driven by the pandemic, which affects commuting and leisure activities.

Bira noted that it “recognises the long-term potential and excitement surrounding the cycle industry” even amidst challenges such as the increasing cost of living crisis and its impact on consumer spending.

Earlier this month, the British Retail Consortium (BRC) reported that overall shop vacancy rates in the UK for the first quarter (Q1) of 2023 have remained the same from the previous quarter at 13.8%.