The British Retail Consortium chairman Luke Mayhew will condemn criticism of successful multiple retailers as “ridiculous” in a speech today.

Mayhew is due to tell today’s BRC Retail Symposium that multiple retailers play a central role in the economy and should be appreciated as catalysts of high street regeneration.

He will urge local governments to focus instead supporting town centres and “provide the right environment for businesses of all kinds to thrive”.

Mayhew is expected to say:  “We should celebrate small and independent shops.  But we should also appreciate large and multiple retailers, who often anchor our high streets and bring the footfall so desperately needed.

“They have managed to open new stores, attract investment and create jobs despite the downturn. To regard the success of these large national businesses as in some way sinister is ridiculous.

“Instead let’s use their growth as the catalyst to revitalise our town centres and provide the right environment for businesses of all kinds to thrive. Penalising the success of large retailers will not help their smaller retail neighbours, who depend on the footfall they draw, or their SME suppliers.”

Speaking to more than 300 delegates at the annual conference, Mayhew will also welcome the recent appointment of Mary Portas to carry out a high street review for the Government.

Mayhew is due to step down as BRC chairman in October. He will be replaced by Debenhams chief executive Rob Templeman.