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Centenary celebration!

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The EDA (Electrical Distributors Association) this year celebrates 100 years of representing the electrical wholesale distribution industry within the UK.

The EDA itself was formed in 1998, having been previously known as the Electrical Wholesalers Federation (EWF) (established in 1914). Its members account for around 80% of the industry from the biggest names in the sector through to regional and local family run operations.

Electrical Review was fortunate enough to be invited to join the celebrations at a very special event at Kensington palace, where EDA director Margaret Fitzsimons took members of the press through a brief history of the organisation before a celebratory lunch attended by EDA members and members of its board.

In its 100th year, the EDA has never been stronger. Membership stands at 105 individual companies including the 3 national chains – Edmundson Electrical, Rexel and CEF. 3 of the UK’s 6 buying groups are members – ANEW, FEGIME and AWEBB and it is currently in discussion with one of the remaining three. The combined turnover of its members is more than £4bn each year and they operate 1560 outlets throughout the entire country employing 14,000 people. It is also supported by 54 Affiliate members, mostly manufacturers, and has good relations with several kindred associations. Fitzsimons spoke of the country coming out of recession and EDA members starting to show positive growth since the second half of 2013.

Alongside its long tradition of bringing industry partners together though networking events, members also benefit from the organisation’s Key Contact Directory – the little black book of the industry! The book features all the direct contact details of all the key players in the member companies. The EDA also runs an apprenticeship and vocational training programme, with over 250 young apprentices having completed their qualification and many older learners having completed NVQ training.

Included in the centenary celebrations was the publication of a book charting the history of the EWF and EDA. The book is filled with interesting stories from the association’s humble beginnings to the present day, and is brimming with fascinating old photos.

You can read the book online here.

We thank the EDA for including us in this very important anniversary!

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