David Rae, chief executive of the Association of Convenience Stores, is to retire before the end of the year.

Rae joined the retail trade association, which was formed in 1995 and claims to represent the views of 32,500 convenience store retailers, in September 2001.

He replaced Trevor Dixon when he retired on October 31 2001 and was previously managing director of buying group Key Lekkerland. Before that he worked for Texaco and Q8. He was also a director of the Wholesale Confectionery and Tobacco Alliance.

Rae presided over many high profile campaigns for the ACS. He was also instrumental in setting up the Association of News Retailing, the ACS’ news arm covering news trade distribution issues.

Rae said: “I have had a great five years as Chief Executive and looking back on this time I believe the organisation has achieved a great deal. I know that I leave the ACS in a healthy position to move forward.”

The ACS said the search for a replacement would start following a board meeting on May 16, enabling Rae’s replacement to be in place before he retires. The organisation is understood to be planning to announce the post externally and is seeking a high profile candidate to fill it.