About Leigh Sparks and this Blog

This is my blog. I work at the Institute for Retail Studies (IRS), Stirling Management School, University of Stirling in Scotland, UK. The blog (established in April 2011) is intended to provide a commentary on interesting issues to do with retailing, both in Scotland and elsewhere. I provide some details about myself below.

Leigh Sparks

A CV is provided here for anyone sad enough to be interested, as well as a one page introduction, which covers the basic information below.

I am Deputy Principal (Education and Students) and Professor of Retail Studies at the Institute for Retail Studies, Stirling Management School, University of Stirling. I graduated in geography from the University of Cambridge, and completed my PhD (on retail employment) at the University of Wales.

I have been at Stirling since 1983 and a professor at Stirling since 1992. I was a Visiting Professor at Florida State University, Tallahassee from July 2000 to July 2001, and Visiting Professor at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville from June to December 2006.

I am well-known for his research into aspects of retailing. This is undertaken for personal curiosity, on behalf of public and private clients and for the research councils and other funding bodies, as well as for major retailers.

I have authored and edited a number of books, published over 140 refereed journal articles, various academic commentaries, columns and discussion papers, as well as many media commentaries and run this retailing blog (www.stirlingretail.com).

I have been Chair of Scotland’s Towns Partnership since its inception and was Chair of IDS Scotland Ltd (the company set up by Scottish Government to oversee Scottish Business Improvement Districts) until it was merged into Scotland’s Towns Partnership. I was a member of the External Advisory Group on the Scottish Government’s National Review of Town Centres (2012-2013) and on the Expert Advisory Group (the Scudamore Review) advising the Scottish Government on the lessons to be learned from the Horsemeat Scandal (2013).

My recent policy work has been as the Chair of the Review of the Town Centre Action Plan (2020-2021) for the Scottish Government on the invitation of the Cabinet Secretary. I was invited by Cabinet Secretaries to be a member of the Scottish Government’s Social Renewal Advisory Board (2020-2021) and was a member of the Government’s Ministerial Retail Strategy Steering Group (2021-2022). I am also a member of Economic Impact and Price Expert Advisory Group on Minimum Unit Pricing of Alcohol for Public Health Scotland (2018-2023).

I am an avid Welsh rugby supporter.

My Contact Points:

Telephone: 01786 467024

Email: Leigh.Sparks@stir.ac.uk

Twitter: @sparks_stirling

Address: Deputy Principal’s Office, University of Stirling, Stirling, FK9 4LA.

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