Leading retail pressure group the British Retail Consortium (BRC) has today launched a sister body aimed at giving a voice to Welsh retailers.
The Welsh Retail Consortium (WRC) will work to highlight issues across the Welsh retail sector and ensure that the Welsh government and relevant local authorities work in conjunction with retailers to benefit the local economy.
Mark Ross, who joined the BRC at the start of the year as Head of Public Affairs, is now Director of the WRC and, though he has limited experience in retail, his understanding of politics is likely to aid in his new post.
Ross previously operated as Assistant Campaign Director for the ‘Yes for Fairer Votes’ campaign and will now be responsible for regular communication with members of the Welsh government and Assembly.
Ross welcomed the opportunity to build a strong relationship between the political and retail sectors, commenting: “The Welsh Government has more power than ever before to shape the business environment and to influence the Welsh economy.
“Retailers, national politicians and local councillors share many goals. We all want vibrant town centres where businesses can thrive and we support investment in Welsh agriculture to ensure the success of food supply chains.
“These are just two of the issues we look forward to discussing in the coming months as the Welsh Retail Consortium gets down to work.”
A new report by the WRC, entitled ‘Welsh Retail: Serving Our Communities’, is also being launched today and includes research and statistics by Oxford Economics and the Oxford Institute of Retail Management.
In Wales, retail is the largest private sector employer, accounting for over 11 per cent of the total work force and providing around 131,000 jobs, primarily for young people.
Ross added: “Retail is at the heart of communities across Wales, providing jobs for more than one in ten people who are in work.
“It’s a sector which is always innovating and which has great capacity to grow – just what the country needs to establish a strong recovery.”