This year, the Kbsa turns 40. Learn how the association has been setting the standards and championing the independent retaier since 1978.
The association was created with a simple message, “setting the standards” and this still remains true today, 40 years on.
Whilst the original focus in 1978 was deposit protection because of the market conditions, the Kbsa (then KSA) badge offered consumers a means of identifying a reputable retailer. Retailers that wanted to join had to meet the criteria and whilst these have changed over the years the Kbsa remains an association that you have to prove you have the credentials to be a member of, rather than just pay a fee.
Deposit protection is no longer the main focus, members can still opt to offer insurance if they wish but the badge remains important and is displayed with pride by those members that meet the exacting standards.
Whilst providing consumers with a standard that they can recognise remains a key focus for the Kbsa, it is an association for the members and today its remit is firmly focused on supporting independent retailers.
Quality is a cornerstone of all our activities and we aim to be ‘best in class’ with all the services and benefits that we provide to members.
Key milestones in the association history include expanding the membership to include bathrooms in 2010 and launching the website in 1998. The Designer Awards were launched in 2012 alongside the annual conference. The Designer Awards are recognised as one the most respected in the industry and the conference is fast becoming a not to be missed event in the calendar.
In its 40th year the Kbsa is proud to have launched a new membership category. The Foundation membership is available to new retailers between 6 months and 2 years old. It is designed to enable aspiring members to join whilst they work up to full membership. During the 2 years they have access to some of the benefits and after the 2 year period is complete they are reassessed and can become a full retail member if all the membership conditions are met.
An important element of the success for the Kbsa has been the support from corporate members. Corporate members supply a vast selection of quality products to Kbsa retailers, building a strong relationship that benefits both parties.
There is no other association that has been established for so long that offers independent retailers so much.
Kbsa national chair Richard Hibbert says, “It is a privilege to be part of the team driving forward the Kbsa’s growth during this special year. There has never been a better time for independent retailers to be part of the Kbsa as the robust package of support and protection we offer is unbeatable.”
Uwe Hanneck acting Kbsa CEO added, “The Kbsa is a unique association, the only one to represent the independent KBB retailer in UK and Europe, providing an essential voice for businesses that operate in a competitive and challenging marketplace.”
If you want to be part of our success for the next 40 years - find out more about membership here.