Former Home Retail Group chief executive Terry Duddy is to join the Retail Trust charity as chairman, suceeding John Lovering.

Duddy, who stepped down from Argos owner Home Retail after 15 years earlier this year, joins on September 8.

He was placed by Clarity Search, which worked on a pro bono basis.

Duddy’s appointment as a raft of retail executives join the Retail Trust’s board, including AS Watson property director Nigel Duxbury and Ted Baker group finance director and chief operating officer Lindsay Page.

Duddy said: “I am delighted to be appointed chair of the Retail Trust at a time when demand for our services is greater than ever. During John’s stewardship the charity has undergone significant change and the future is about evolving further our products and services to support the 4.5 million people who work in retail and the supporting services and  related industries.”

Former Debenhams chairman Lovering will continue working with the Retail Trust as head of its ambassador group.

He said: “I leave Retail Trust in good health. We have focused our work, increased our relevance to the trade, improved fundraising, built a new board and governance structure and appointed an outstanding executive team I am really proud of today’s Retail Trust and I know Terry, Richard and the energetic new board will build on these foundations and take us forward strongly.”

Funds raised by the Retail Trust jumped 18% this year, and was up 69% at a net distributable level. It has used the funds to invest in the development of its educational programmes and has awarded more than £130,000 in scholarships and bursaries through its relationships with Oxford Summer School, the Fashion Retail Academy and other higher education institutions.

Retail Trust chief executive Richard Boland said: “I am privileged to work with such outstanding individuals as John and Terry. The dedication of Retail Trust staff, our trustees, and volunteers and the unstinting support of the retail sector family is truly humbling. I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their exceptional contributions over the last year.”