Annual Lecture

22 June 2017 


No other single speech in the retail calendar has the power to set the agenda and motivate its audience quite like the Annual Retail Industry Lecture. Now in its tenth year, this year’s defining keynote was delivered by Richard Pennycook, former CEO of the Co-op.

Richard delivered a powerful and thought-provoking speech, covering a range of big topics including how the retail industry evolves with the pace of change. His rallying call for the industry to improve its reputation made waves in The Times, Retail Week and Evening Standard to name a few.

What does a purposeful organisation look like? What is the transformational journey that retailers must embark on? How do we attract millennials into the retail workplace? These were just a few of the questions at the heart of the tenth Annual Retail Industry Lecture. These are important questions for the BRC and it is why we set up our Retail 2020 project, which outlines the industry vision for better and more productive jobs as emerging technologies continue to bring benefits to consumers and brands.

Not only did the event provide a unique occasion to hear from one of the retail's leading CEOs, but it also provided a unique evening of networking and debate among delegates.



Lecture highlights video:


Podcast: Richard Pennycook on economic and political change




Richard Pennycook, former CEO, Co-op

Richard recently stepped down as CEO of the Co-op in order to pursue a portfolio career, having joined in 2013 as part of a team which saved it from near collapse. He has over 25 years’ experience in retail, starting with the management buyout of Allders in the late 1980s, where he was the CFO of European Duty Free and ran the North American operation for a time. Over the years, he has been involved in the growth of J D Wetherspoon and the turnarounds of Laura Ashley, Welcome Break, Bulmers and Morrisons. Previously a non-executive director of Richer Sounds, Richard is also non-executive Chairman of The Hut Group,Chairman of Howdens Joinery PLC and Chairman elect of Fenwicks.