Ghin currently has 216 members operating more than 32 000 stores in 74 countries. Their amalgamated sales amount to over EUR 330 bn. The network was created by the European DIY retailers' association Edra. The IHA has thousands of affiliated hardware retailers by way of national associations in Australia, China, France, Germany, Japan, Sweden, Switzerland and the USA.
The merger should be completed on 1 October 2021. The IHA will remain an independent network managed by Ghin, and will retain its own president.Sergio Giroldi, president of Edra/Ghin, stated: "On behalf of the Edra/Ghin board I am truly delighted to welcome the International Hardware Association into our global network. This merger will strengthen our network and raise our profile internationally. We, the home improvement retailers and the hardware stores, all have our place in the home improvement retail community, sharing the same values and offering consumers the best possible service and safe, quality products."
President of the IHA Jean-François Dubost highlighted: "If we have learned anything over the past 18 months it is that our industry is stronger when we come together to share interests, ideas and concerns with other partners throughout the channel. It is in this spirit that we welcome this new alliance and feel confident that the interests of our member organisations will be well represented on the global stage."
"For the past two decades the Ghin network has been hugely successful in bringing our members together to learn from each other on strictly non-competitive issues and defending our members' interests," stated the organisation, describing its work. "The latest example of this was ensuring that home improvement retailing globally was seen for what it is by governments and lawmakers - an essential business, which has been exceptionally important during the pandemic."
Ghin also stresses that it will continue to work closely with Hima, the international association of home improvement manufacturers, and with trade shows worldwide.