This blog is run by Leigh Sparks from the Institute for Retail Studies (IRS), Stirling Management School, University of Stirling in Scotland, UK. It is intended to provide a commentary on interesting issues to do with retailing, both in Scotland and elsewhere.
I am Professor of Retail Studies at the University of Stirling. I also hold a University level position as Deputy Principal (Education and Students).
I was a geography undergraduate at the University of Cambridge, and completed my Ph.D (on retail employment) at the University of Wales.
I have been Professor of Retail Studies 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 the Editor of the leading European retail journal (The International Review of Retail, Distribution and Consumer Research) and on the editorial boards of a number of other major marketing and management journals.
I undertake research into aspects of retailing, mainly for personal curiosity, but also 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, have published over 150 refereed journal articles as well as many practitioner, trade and newspaper pieces.
In 2012-2013 I was a member of the External Advisory Group for the Scottish Government’s National Review of Town Centres and also on the Expert Advisory Group reporting to the Scottish Government on the lessons to be learned from the horsemeat scandal. I am currently (2020) Chair of the Review into the Scottish Government’s Town Centre Action Plan and am on the Scottish Government’s Social Renewal Advisory Board.
I have been Chair of Scotland’s Towns Partnership since 2014. I have been (until 2018) a board member, director and Chair of IDS Scotland Ltd, the company set up by the Scottish Government to oversee Scottish Business Improvement Districts. I am an office bearer in the American Collegiate Retailing Association.
I am an avid Welsh rugby supporter.
My Contact Points:
Telephone: 01786 467384
Address: Institute for Retail Studies, Stirling Management School, University of Stirling, Stirling, FK9 4LA.
The Institute for Retail Studies (IRS)
The Institute for Retail Studies is a leading research and education centre on the subject of retailing. The IRS offers a variety of retail programmes, full-time, part-time and distance learning, leading to formal qualifications or CPD, open access or tailored company programmes and available in the UK, Europe, Asia and elsewhere. Our main operations are in Stirling for retailers across Europe and in Singapore for operations in South East and Pacific Asia. Our research tackles leading issues in, and for, retailers and details are found elsewhere in this blog.
You can ask for more information here via the contact form.