About OSS

OSS Retail, formerly known as Oxford Summer School, is an unparalleled learning experience for retail managers. Our unique and cost effective professional development programmes are supported by companies across the sector who send their top talent to attend OSS courses year on year. In short, it is your route to retail success - professional training by retailers, for retailers. We look forward to working with you and your future leaders at OSS.
The British Independent Retailers Association (bira) is the UK’s leading membership organisation for independent retail. Pro-actively championing the High Street and shopping locally, bira also invests in the future of the UK retail sector through its subsidiary, OSS Retail. bira leverages the collective strength of its retailers as well as representing the retail industry with a strong lobbying voice from retailers on the ground to the highest levels in Government. bira members benefit from discounts to our retail training programmes and can apply for full and part scholarships for OSS.


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

Delegate Portal



Click here to download our 2018 prospectus

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