Vin Vara, owner of London's Tool Shop chain, has been elected to serve as National President of the British Independent Retailers Association (bira).
He took on the role at the bira High Street Conference at the Chateau Impney, Droitwich on 11 May.
Mr Vara commented: "It fills me with excitement to represent our association as President" in a year in which membership growth and service usage will be key drivers of development for a unique body which provides a buying service, a booming bank and a credit card payment handling scheme that turns over more than a billion pounds a year.
In his year the association will also take a huge step forward in bringing all of its staff together in new space at its Birmingham headquarters. He highlighted in his acceptance speech the importance of the association in assisting and representing independent retailers numbering more than a quarter of a million in the UK - two out of three shops in the country - proof that Napoleon was quite right to describe the British as "a nation of shopkeepers".
Politically, the EU referendum and the advent of the new Small Business Commissioner would themselves set the agenda, he said, for an "exciting" year in which bira would continue to press government directly as it had done, with much success, on business rates in previous years.