NEWS: Retail body’s new head plans to talk shop in EU

The British Retail Consortium, industry body to 90 per cent of UK retailers has appointed its first director of communications.

The British Retail Consortium, industry body to 90 per cent of UK

retailers has appointed its first director of communications.



Rupert Hodges, former communications head at affinity marketing

specialists Spero, has been hired to handle a range of internal and

external communications for the four-year-old organisation.



He will oversee BRC’s relations with Parliament and the European Union,

representing the industry’s interests on a range of issues such as the

implications of a single currency.



The BRC is also keen to boost its membership and to improve the range of

services that it offers to existing members such as conferences and

seminars.



Internal PR and lobbying had previously been split between BRC’s

director general James May and Ruth Parkhouse, the body’s assistant

director, external affairs who now reports to Hodges.



May commented on the hiring: ‘This appointment has been planned for some

time but we didn’t have the resources to fill it.



‘Seventy five per cent of legislation that comes through Parliament

starts in Europe. We have had a small office in Brussels for four years

and are looking to boost it further,’ he added.



The BRC was formed in 1992 from a merger of the multiple retailers’

industry body The British Retailers Association and The Retailers

Consortium which represented independent retailers.



It handles a range of industry subjects including retail crime,

taxation, employment and training for its members, which include Boots,

Sainsbury’s and WH Smith.



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