Since 1923, OSS Retail – formerly known as Oxford Summer School and now powered by the BRC – has been transforming the careers of retail professionals.

From their first steps in retail management through to the boardroom OSS Retail has played a pivotal role in the development of over 19,500 retail leaders. Through a range of residential programmes and specialist courses, we offer an unparalleled learning experience for retail talent. We are unique as our programmes are run by retailers for retailers.

Our mission

Retail centric

It is our mission to deliver an inspirational experience that challenges and develops retail managers helping to give them the confidence and motivation to realise their potential.


Our Values:

  • Commitment
  • Respect
  • Integrity


Across the sector

Year on year, we welcome delegates from across the sector, including multinational retail PLC’s and leading independent retailers. This creates a unique opportunity for delegates to grow their network whilst learning together and from one another. 

About OSS Retail

Why OSS Works

Developing individuals

At OSS we help you develop your managers at key career stages through professionally accredited programmes, helping drive talent through your business at every stage.


New ways of thinking

OSS encourages and enables interaction between different types of retailers, allowing individuals to think outside of their normal work pattern, share their knowledge and inspire new


Retail centric

OSS programmes are developed by retailers, for retailers. Delegates gain exclusive insights and learn first-hand from current retail leaders and expert tutors from a diverse group of national, international and independent retailers.


Align with your internal L&D

We’ll work with you to integrate OSS with your internal Learning & Development programmes  through pre-course briefings and post programme reviews.


Open & challenging environment

Delegates are encouraged to  move out of their comfort  zone and quickly form working relationships via small discussion groups. This approach plays to each person’s strengths and also enables them to work on their areas for development. Our programmes are fully residential, providing the delegates with  the space to think and commit  to their development in an open but challenging learning environment.


Support and guidance

The discussion groups at the Foundation and Academy are mentored and guided by previous delegates in the role of Group Director (GD). GDs are experienced retail managers from organisations across the sector who guide and support delegates through the programme.


Proven track record 

OSS has developed over 19,000  retailers from across the sector since its inception in 1923, driven by its values of commitment, respect and integrity.


Ongoing support

It doesn’t stop once the School  has ended. We can help with post-course reviews and encourage delegates to return as Group Directors to enable them to continue their development both for themselves and their business

Past Speakers

Retail expertise

Our programmes offer delegates the opportunity to meet and hear from respected industry leaders and retail professionals. Here are some of the speakers who have supported us in developing the next generation of retail leaders

British Retail Consortium | OSS Retail

OSS Retail is powered by the British Retail Consortium (BRC).


The BRC’s purpose is to make a positive difference to the retail industry and the customers it serves, today and in the future.


Retail is an exciting, dynamic and diverse industry. It is a driving force in our economy, a hotbed of innovation and the UK’s largest private sector employer. Retailers touch the lives of millions of people every day, supporting the vibrancy of the communities they operate in.


The industry today is going through a period of profound change. Technology is transforming how people shop; costs are increasing; and growth in consumer spending is slow.


Retailing will continue to evolve and advance. Online retail will continue to grow as retailers invest in new emerging technologies; there will be fewer stores and those stores remaining will offer new experiences; there will be fewer, but better jobs and a career in retail in the future will be very different to today.


We are committed to ensuring the industry thrives through this period of transformation.


We tell the story of retail, work with our members to drive positive change and use our expertise and influence to create an economic and policy environment that enables retail businesses to thrive and consumers to benefit.


For more information about BRC please visit their website – brc.org.uk

OSS Retail

Our History

Est 1923

OSS Retail, formerly known as Oxford Summer School, was founded in 1923 by the Drapers Chamber of Trade. It was created to provide retailers with outstanding development opportunities that would transform their careers in the sector.

Latest news

Support and guidance

At OSS Retail, our primary focus has always been on people. With this very much in mind amidst the ever developing COVID-19 situation, we must regrettably announce that we will......