Luke Mayhew, chairman of the British Retail Consortium, is due to tell the BRC Retail Symposium today that large retailers are the catalysts of high street regeneration.
Luke Mayhew, chairman of the British Retail Consortium (BRC), is due to tell the BRC Retail Symposium today that large retailers are the catalysts of high street regeneration.
He will condemn criticism of large and multiple retailers in his speech to more than 300 delegates at the one-day conference, arguing that they ‘anchor our high streets and bring the footfall so desperately needed’.
Mayhew believes that multiple retailers play a ‘central role’ in national and local economies and will urge government to focus on promoting and supporting UK town centres.
He is expected to say: ‘They have managed to open new stores, attract investment and create jobs despite the downturn. To regard the success of these large national businesses as in some way sinister is ridiculous.
‘Instead let’s use their growth as the catalyst to revitalise our town centres and provide the right environment for businesses of all kinds to thrive. Penalising the success of large retailers will not help their smaller retail neighbours, who depend on the footfall they draw, or their SME suppliers.’
Mayhew is also expected to welcome the appointment of retail marketing consultant Mary Portas to conduct a high street review for the government.
This year’s Retail Symposium will bring together senior figures from across the retail sector, with the keynote address being delivered by Tesco chief executive Philip Clarke.
Mayhew is due to step down as chairman in October this year to be replaced by Rob Templeman, currently chief executive of Debenhams.