A new industry-led retail council has been launched to fuel growth in the sector as it adapts to changing consumer habits.
The council is co-chaired by retail minister Andrew Griffiths and Richard Pennycook, chairman of Fenwick and The Hut Group, and the British Retail Consortium.
Other members include retail leaders Doug Gurr, UK country manager at Amazon, Sir Charlie Mayfield, chairman of John Lewis Partnership, and Nick Beighton, CEO of Asos.
The council will meet regularly to discuss the challenges the retail sector faces and how retailers can adapt to changing consumer behaviour. It aims to address key sector issues, including skills and increasing productivity.
Griffiths said: “The UK’s retail sector is undergoing rapid structural changes as consumers increasingly favour online shopping and operating costs for retailers rise. Our new collaborative Retail Sector Council will bring government and industry together to look at how best to ensure the industry adapts to meet the changing demands of consumers.”
Pennycook added: “The first Retail Sector Council comes at a moment of unprecedented change for our sector. Retail is one of the largest private-sector employers in the country, and the council will provide strategic oversight of the challenges we are facing by seeking positive change and increased productivity.
“We will be working together with industry and government to deliver our vision for the future of retail.”
In 2016, the retail sector added a gross value of £94.6bn to the UK economy.