The Association of Convenience Stores has appointed James Lowman as its new chief executive, replacing David Rae who is set to retire from the role.

Lowman will leave his current position as director of public affairs at the ACS on 1 November, and take up his new appointment with immediate effect.

Lowman joined the ACS in 1997 and initially took responsibility for regulatory work and the political representation of the convenience store sector, fast becoming a frequent visitor to parliament and various political party conferences.

He was appointed to the role of public affairs and communications manager in 2000 and, since then, has headed up a number of high-profile political campaigns, including urging the referral of the grocery market to the Competition Commission; the successful opposition to Sunday trading hours extension; and the introduction of the 'No ID No Sale' drive relating to sales of alcohol to minors.

Lowman said: "I am passionate about the sector and what the ACS has achieved. My overriding intention is to tackle the difficult issues that the sector faces head on, and to make the ACS even more visible as the champion of the convenience retailer. I am delighted to be offered the role and determined the ACS will become indispensable under my direction."

The ACS also announced that Mike Greene, chief executive officer of Harris International Marketing, will be taking a new role as chairman, replacing Mike Sherwood.

ACS vice chairman Jerry Marwood said the new appointments would reap tangible rewards for the ACS and its members.

"The ACS is at a crucial point in its history, and we have appointed a new chief executive and chairman who can drive our mission forwards with dynamism and understanding of the issues affecting our sector."