JD Sports and BRC chair, Andy Higginson said “retail is taken for granted” as he spoke about the government’s role in supporting the sector at LIVE 2024.

Sally Elliot and Andy Higginson - Gomes

Source: Gomes Photography

Higginson said: “The role of retail is one that the government should welcome. We employ a lot of people everywhere, up and down the country. We are in every town and every city. We don’t need subsidies, we are happy to compete on our own and just get on with it. What we ask them to do is play their part and create an economic framework that is positive and progressive and provides a level playing field.”

He added: “If the government will play its part, we’ll play ours.”

Higginson said “generally, retail is taken for granted” by the government as he spoke about the size of the sector and its contribution to the economy of the country both in terms of revenue and generating employment.

He said: “We are huge contributors to the tax system, which is completely disproportionate to the size of the industry. In addition to that, we employ a lot of people.”

As the UK heads into an election year, Higginson said any incoming government should look to the sector and “treat it with a little more respect and a little more weight”.

He added that it is the industry’s job to work with whichever government gets elected and to lobby for a healthy business environment and “we’ll take it from there”.