Our mission is to make a positive difference to the retail industry and the customers it serves, today and in the future.  As we enter a new financial year, it's timely to look back at some of our collective achievements, which support our members' efforts to trade legally, ethically, safely, sustainably and profitably. Many thanks to the thousands of individuals within our member companies that have contributed their time, data, energy and ideas to make it happen.

If your company is not a BRC member, you can find out more about joining here, or email us.

Business and regulation

  • On Business Rates, helped secure the abolition of downwards phasing of Transitional Relief and the central funding of the upwards scheme. In addition the planned increase for 2023/24 was cancelled. Taken together with other related measures, the total benefit to retail is c.£1.5bn per year
  • Secured freeze to business rates in Scotland, which will ‘save’ shops £64.5 million in 2023-24. We achieved a rates freeze in Wales and the regional rate was frozen in Northern Ireland too
  • Played a leading role in successfully pressing the Payments Systems Regulator to commence market reviews on Scheme and Processing Fees and Cross Border Interchange Fees
  • Argued successfully that retail should not be the primary focus of Buy Now Pay Later regulation
  • Hosted the retail industry's first ever Open Banking event, enabling conversations between retailers, the industry and the regulators
  • Played a leading in role in the Axe the Card Tax campaign, publishing a joint report outlining the issues and proposing solutions for the Treasury and Payment Systems Regulator
  • Provided opportunities for member engagement with regulators including ASA, CMA, OPSS, ICO, NCSC and officials in key Departments including BEIS, Home Office, DCMS
  • Published insight and secured media coverage on Payments, Retail Crime and Workforce issues

Sustainability and climate action

  • Provided practical guidance on how to save energy, cut emissions in your supply chain and improve final mile deliveries through our Climate Action Roadmap Change Programme
  • Led the campaign to pause, review and improve the current proposals for Extended Producer Responsibility on packaging
  • Detailed briefings and exchanges with regulators on how to ensure compliance on green claims
  • Finally secured CMA acceptance of potential for free ‘assured’ advice on an area of competition law (sustainability) previously claimed impossible, after sustained engagement
  • Led engagement on Scottish DRS, delayed until 2025, gave retailers more clarity over operational guidance, increased compensation, and managed the industry’s reputation on this controversial issue

Digital Transformation

  • Provided deep dives on topical issues including cyber insurance, legacy software, cloud security and ransomware, through our Digital Transformation Change Programme
  • Campaigned for digital age estimation for age sales of alcohol leading to successful pilots
  • Successfully limited the impact of Online Safety Bill for most retailers’ ecommerce websites
  • Secured more practical retail requirements in new Internet of Things rules for consumer connected products than in the original proposal
  • Successfully limited the impact for most retailers of digital markets requirements in changes to competition law in new Digital Markets Competition and Consumer Bill
  • Hosted a variety of physical and virtual events to help members understand and optimise cybersecurity, ransomware, AI, automation, cloud computing, low code, data and more

operations, people, talent and diversity & inclusion

  • Delivered an extensive programme of expert advice, engagement and data/insight, through our Diversity and Inclusion Change Programme
  • Facilitated sharing on impact of and approach to HR issues like turnover, head office pay awards, commission/gainshare schemes, flexible working hours, and cost of living support
  • Provided clarity on arrangements for the funeral of the Queen and the King’s Coronation, facilitating member engagement and sharing of insight
  • Developed a strong partnership with the DWP, providing members with access to tailored support and regular engagement through the Retail Strategic Forum
  • Need for better tailored ICO advice recognised by new Information Commissioner
  • Co-chaired National Retail Crime Steering Group with Home Office Policing Minister to provide awareness of retail crime issues including violence, abuse and shop theft
  • Secured changes to Offensive Weapons Act so online sales of most articles including cutlery could continue with acceptable restrictions
  • Secured changes to arrangements for Duty to Protect making it more practical and proportionate
  • Developed and delivered market-leading Leadership Development programmes as well as bespoke in-house talent solutions

Food and trade

  • Played a key role in ensuring retail views were represented in the Windsor Framework, which should deliver a sustainable solution for NI stores and improve our relationship with the EU
  • Published guidance to ensure retailers could comply with new location restrictions on promotions
  • Led the review of the seasonal agricultural workers scheme, addressing ethical supply chain issues
  • Ensured Defra’s Food Data Transparency Partnership focus on the key issue of calculating and representing scope 3 emissions
  • Co-ordinated the response to a major meat fraud incident and review of practices with the FSA

Government and media relations

  • Established regular dialogue and member engagement opportunities with UK government ministers across the breadth of retail policy issues, and with most of the Shadow Cabinet
  • Developed a strong network of supportive backbench MPs
  • Represented the industry on numerous occasions to Parliamentary committees and APPGs, covering themes from labour market challenges to food supply chains and business rates
  • Delivered a wealth of engagement across Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, including two meetings with Scotland's new First Minister, presenting to the Welsh First Minister and Cabinet, participation in a roundtable with the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland. Held member roundtables with numerous Scottish Ministers and leaders of the main Opposition parties
  • Secured over 75k pieces of press coverage advocating for retail and mitigating reputational risk, including 6k+ articles in national newspapers and broadcast media
  • Handled nearly 2,500 calls from media on members’ behalf, including over 600 direct referrals from member press offices