Retail Excellence has appointed Applegreen's Joe Barrett as its new chairman. 

Mr Barrett will succeed JP Kennedy, managing director of Tilestyle, as chairman of the Retail Excellence board when Mr Kennedy retires on July 1.

Retail Excellence, the country's largest retail representative body, also said that Jean McCabe, owner of Ennis and Galway boutiques Willow, will take up the position of vice-chair of the Retail Excellence Board.

Retail Excellence's group chief executive David Fitzsimons said that Mr Barrett and Ms McCabe are joining the organisation at a time of both uncertainty and opportunity. 

"It's appropriate that our new leadership team represent large and small retailers, and each new member brings insights from their respective sectors which added to their individual skillset, wealth of ability and experience will perfectly complement our existing members," David Fitzsimons said.

Mr Fitzsimons said the group has much planned for the remainder of this year and in the longer term to try and resolve the huge issues facing retail in these uncertain times. 

"It is testament to the strength of our organisation that we can call on the quality and advice of our board members to come up with solutions to the challenges facing with us," he added.