ACS chief executive James Lowman has been invited to sit on a new industry-led Retail Sector Council set up by the Government.

The council will meet regularly with industry to discuss the challenges the sector faces and provide advice to the Government. It will review how best retailers can adapt to changing consumer behaviour, the business environment and opportunities such as the development of new technologies to improve customer service, the chances to grow skills through a sector push on high-value training and ways to boost sector productivity and its economic health.

Senior management from leading retailers such as Boots and Amazon together with individual retailers and industry bodies will sit on the board.

Lowman welcomed the formation of the council, commenting: “The retail industry is at the heart of the profound social, political and economic changes the UK is undergoing, and we need this forum to discuss these issues. I am delighted to have been asked to join this council because it is important that small businesses and local shops, which are vital parts of UK retailing, play their part in developing future plans for the industry."

Retail minister Andrew Griffiths said: “The UK’s retail sector is undergoing rapid structural changes with consumers increasingly favouring online shopping and rising operating costs for retailers.

“Our new collaborative Retail Sector Council will bring government and industry together to look at how best to ensure the industry adapts to meet the changing demands of consumers.”