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Murphy looks to 'definitive period' for retail

John Lewis executive champions high street

Andrew MurphyJohn Lewis executive Andrew Murphy, a former Edinburgh and Aberdeen store manager, is taking on the challenge of reviving the high street after being named chairman of the Scottish Retail Consortium.

Mr Murphy will take on the role from 1 January and will succeed Ken MacKenzie, the former head of the Scottish Co-op.

He will work with the SRC’s director, David Lonsdale, and the 16-strong board which represents the country’s biggest private sector employer.

Mr Murphy  (pictured), a graduate of Aberdeen University, joined John Lewis in 1992 and ran its stores in Aberdeen and Edinburgh from 2004, before joining the department store’s retail leadership team in 2009 as director of operations development.

He was appointed to his current board role in 2010, where he has responsibility for 24,000 staff at John Lewis’s stores.

He served on the SRC board from 2006 to 2009 when he was also the founding chairman of Essential Edinburgh, Scotland’s first city centre business improvement district.

Mr Murphy said: “We are entering a definitive period for the future of the retail industry in Scotland with a huge amount at stake in terms of future employment, the vitality of our town centres and the overall health of the sector in the face of multiple structural challenges.

“With all of that in mind I am very much looking forward to supporting and building upon the excellent work of the SRC that Ken has overseen in the last few years. Having a strong, coherent voice for Scotland’s retailers is vital if we are to ensure the industry plays its full part in building the skills, opportunities and prosperity of Scots and Scotland. ”

Mr Lonsdale said: “Andrew takes on this role at a crucial point for the industry. Scotland is witnessing an unprecedented pace of economic and political change and it is the SRC’s role to help inform and shape the emerging public policy debate.

“I would like to record our thanks to Ken for the advice, support and guidance he has given the organisation during his chairmanship over the past six years. He was a founder member of the SRC Board in 1999 and has been a great servant of the SRC and to the wider industry in Scotland.”

Mr MacKenzie said: “The SRC does an important job in representing the industry to policy makers in Scotland and across the UK, and I have every confidence that Andrew will seek to further strengthen the work of the SRC.”

Tony McElroy, Head of Devolved Government Affairs for Tesco, will remain vice-chairman.

Photograph: by Mark Mackenzie

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