The British Retail Consortium has signalled its intention to increase its focus on small store issues with the appointment of Spar's Morton Middleditch as deputy chairman.
Middleditch, who is Spar UK's chairman, fills a gap created by the retirement of Bill Shannon from the Co-operative Group. He will work alongside the BRC's other deputy chairman, Alistair Eperon of Boots.
Middleditch will look after the interests of trade associations, retail groups and their members, while Eperon looks after full members.
Middleditch said part of his role would be to champion within the BRC the issues of most concern to small store retailers, notably crime, red tape and the importance of the Sunday trading laws. He said his work would help to ensure the BRC could "genuinely say it is talking for 100% of the trade".
Middleditch has lobbied for the small store sector, particularly through his work at Spar, the Association of Convenience Stores and with OPEN, which campaigned for restricted hours on a Sunday for stores of more than 3,000 sq ft.