Author Archives: Leigh Sparks

About Leigh Sparks

I am Professor of Retail Studies at the Institute for Retail Studies, University of Stirling, where I research and teach aspects of retailing and retail supply chains, alongside various colleagues. I am Chair of Scotland's Towns Partnership. I am also a Deputy Principal of the University, with responsibility for Internationalisation and Graduate Studies.

Some thoughts on the ASOS profit warning

The ASOS news this week was to many something of a surprise, but in reality it really shouldn’t be.  A profit warning on Monday wiped almost 40% off its share price and impacted other retailers as well.  Many of these … Continue reading

Posted in Asos, Black Friday, Brexit, Christmas, Competition, Consumer Change, Customer Service, Internet, Internet shopping, Online Retailing, Profits, Rates, Retail Change, Retailing, Tax, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Dead or Alive?

A few weeks ago I was reading an interview in the Guardian and the interviewee, the writer Barbara Kingsolver, said about the Great Barrier Reef: “You’re hearing about everything that dies, you’re not hearing about everything that’s still alive.  If … Continue reading

Posted in Community, Consumers, Local Retailers, Localisation, Regeneration, Reinvention, Scotland's Town and High Streets, Small Shops, Small Towns, Town Centres, Towns, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

“Destination High Street – Restoring Vibrancy to Scotland’s Towns”

The invitation from the Architectural Heritage Society of Scotland (AHSS) and the Scottish Civic Trust was to present a keynote address to their conference on ‘Destination High Street’.  As both Professor of Retail Studies and Chair, Scotland’s Towns Partnership I … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, BIDS, Buildings, Community, Community Development, Consumer Change, Consumer Lifestyle, Creative Places, Design, Development Trusts, Environmental Quality, Government, High Streets, Historic Shops, Internet shopping, Local Retailers, Online Retailing, Places, Public Realm, Rates, Retail Change, Scotland's Town and High Streets, Scotland's Towns Partnership, Small Towns, Social Inequality, Streets, Streetscapes, Tax, Town Centre Action Plan, Town Centre Living, Town Centre Review, Town Centres, Towns, Understanding Scottish Places, Urban | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Twin Towns

To anyone with a Welsh background and an interest in films, Twin Town conjures up a film of 20+ years ago which was described as a Welsh Trainspotting, though less successful.  Lock up your sheep and pretty much anything else, … Continue reading

Posted in Carnegie UK Trust, Collaboration, Community, Heritage, High Streets, History, Markets, Places, Regeneration, Small Towns, Town Centres, Towns, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Business Rates vs Online Tax

The upcoming Budget has as normal seen a flurry of ‘advice’ for the UK Government’s Chancellor.  Much of this is special pleading, especially in the light of the so-called End of Austerity.  Within this though the issue of business rates … Continue reading

Posted in Barclay Review, BRC, Digital, Government, High Streets, Internet shopping, Large Store Levy, Local Retailers, Online Retailing, Rates, Retail Failure, Tax, Town Centres | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ghosts in the Rockies

In one of the many ironies of destroying my knee in May, we were left with a race against time to see if I was fit enough to go on a booked holiday in late August and early September. Would … Continue reading

Posted in Advertising, Architecture, Buildings, Canada, Corporate branding, Downtown, Ghost Signs, Heritage, High Streets, Historic Shops, Places, Retail History, Signage, Small Towns, Streetscapes, Urban History, USA | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Three Go To An Exhibition

It was not quite my shortest visit to Singapore, but it came close; a couple of days launching a new partnership with Amity University and our annual graduation ceremony with SIM.  For reading on the plane I had grabbed a book … Continue reading

Posted in Advertising, Architecture, archives, Department Stores, Historic Shops, History, Retail Change, Retail History, Retailers, Singapore, Urban History | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment