Belfast Telegraph

Richard Pennycook to join British Retail Consortium as chairman

Mr Pennycook will join the BRC board as chairman elect before taking up the position next February.

The former boss of the Co-operative Group has been appointed chairman of the British Retail Consortium (BRC).

Richard Pennycook will join the BRC board as chairman elect before taking up the position on February 1 next year.

The move will see him succeed Richard Baker, who has held the retail trade association role since July 2016.

Mr Pennycook said: “We are in the midst of a very challenging period for the future of the retail industry, with a huge amount at stake in terms of the reputation of business, future employment, the vitality of our town centres and the overall health of the industry in the face of multiple structural, economic and public policy challenges.

“With that in mind, I am very much looking forward to supporting and building upon the BRC’s pioneering work.

“Having a strong, coherent voice for Britain’s retailers is vital if we are to ensure the industry plays its full part in building the skills, opportunities and prosperity of the nation.”

Mr Pennycook, who has worked at JD Wetherspoon, Laura Ashley, Welcome Break and Morrisons, made way for Steve Murrells, who took over as chief executive of the Co-operative Group earlier this year.

However, he remains chairman of Howdens Joinery and Fenwicks department stores and a non-executive chairman of The Hut Group.

BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson said: “The appointment of Richard, a huge figure within the industry, as chairman will offer continuity and help oversee the implementation of the organisation’s future plans at a crucial point for the industry.

“We are witnessing an unprecedented pace of economic and political change and it is the BRC’s role to help inform and shape the emerging public policy debate.”

Mr Baker added: “It has been an honour and a privilege to have served as chairman and I wish Richard every success going forward.

“The BRC does a crucial job in representing the industry to policymakers in Westminster and across the UK, and I have every confidence that Richard will seek to further strengthen the work and influence of the organisation and the industry.”

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