Richard Baker, chairman of DFS, is to take the reins as chair of the retail industry’s trade association, the British Retail Consortium (BRC) this autumn.

Richard, already on the BRC board, will start his term of office on 1st September when Sir Charlie Mayfield stands down after a two-year term.

Richard is the chairman of DFS, a long-standing member of the BRC, and Whitbread, owner of Costa. He also holds various board and advisory roles with international companies including Aimia (owners of the Nectar Card) and Advent International.

He was previously chief eExecutive of (Alliance) Boots Group Plc from 2003 to 2007, and prior to that was COO at Asda Group Plc.

Richard says: “I am very much looking forward to working with the BRC members and to chairing the BRC as its role becomes more vital than ever before. The BRC has a strong track record of championing the needs of British retailers – small, medium and large. A backdrop of unprecedented transformation in the industry and many external uncertainties provides a real opportunity to influence the future”.

Helen Dickinson, CEO, says: “Richard’s CV speaks for itself. His wealth and breadth of experience will be critical as we take the BRC forward through a period of profound political and economic change. At the same time, we owe a very large debt of gratitude to Charlie for his guidance, insight and support as our chair, during which time the BRC has undergone yet further transformation. We are especially grateful for Charlie's support for the retail industry's pay, progression and productivity work which has put the changing retail workplace landscape on the economic and political map.”

Sir Charlie Mayfield comment: “It has been a privilege to have been the chairman of the BRC over the past two years and a great pleasure to have worked with Helen and many in the industry in this period of change for the BRC. It is an organisation with tremendous potential and I’m sure that Richard’s strong record in both managing and chairing consumer businesses will serve the BRC well for the next phase of its development. I wish Richard and everyone at the BRC every success in the future.”