Jun 21, 2019
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BRC acquires retail academy in bid to boost jobs

Jun 21, 2019

The British Retail Consortium has acquired OSS Retail, formerly known as Oxford Summer School, as part of a wider campaign to reposition retail as a career of choice.


OSS Retail, previously owned by the British Independent Retailers Association, offers professionally accredited programmes developed by retailers for people seeking retail careers.

Some of its high-profile alumni include Mark Newton-Jones, who has been CEO of Mothercare since 2014 and former president of Saks Fifth Avenue Marigay McKee.

The British Retail Consortium said that taking OSS Retail under its wing will accelerate the development of its careers and professional development offer.

“This is an exciting time for the industry as it responds to the changing retail landscape. With technology changing the way consumers shop, it is essential we invest in the people who will facilitate the future successes of the industry,” said Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the British Retail Consortium.

“Recently, our BRC Learning division has launched two new apprenticeships into the market and launched Rethink Retail, our new careers guidance website. Working with OSS Retail will allow us to further build on our careers and development offering."

Dominic Prendergast, consultant managing director of OSS Retail, added: “This demonstrates our commitment to continue developing our customers’ talent, at the same time underpinning retail as a career of choice.”

According to figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) earlier this month, the number of people employed in retail jobs fell in every region of England, Scotland and Wales (except London) between 2012 and 2017.

This reflects an ongoing period of change as retailers adapt to new technologies and changing consumer behaviour.

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