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BRC acquires OSS Retail to bridge retail skills gap

The British Retail Consortium (BRC) has acquired OSS Retail, formerly known as the Oxford Summer School, from the British Independent Retailers Association.

The acquisition is part of BRC’s Better Jobs campaign and its commitment to repositioning retail as a career of choice.

The BRC asserts that the changing nature of jobs in the retail industry means talent retention and development are vital to the industry’s ongoing transformation.

OSS Retail itself has over 90 years experience in developing talent across the industry, with leadership programmes run by retailers for retailers.

OSS alumni include many well-known retail leaders including Mark Newton-Jones, CEO of Mothercare, and Marigay McKee, former President of Saks Fifth Avenue.

The BRC says its reputational strength and reach, combined with the training expertise and industry support of OSS Retail, will create a platform that can build on past successes and deliver highly regarded programmes, with the BRC accelerating the development of its careers and professional development offer.

Helen Dickinson OBE, Chief Executive of the British Retail Consortium, said: “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.

“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, for the benefit of our members and the wider industry.”

Dominic Prendergast, Consultant Managing Director of OSS Retail, said: “We are delighted to have joined the BRC who will enable us to continue our growth plans and target a wider customer base. This demonstrates our commitment to continue developing our customers’ talent, at the same time underpinning retail as a career of choice.”