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 Education and Students.

Scottish and Online Retail Sales in Lockdown

I am catching up on some of the recently published data about retail sales. This short post has graphs from two sources (a) the Scottish Retail Sales Monitor, published by the Scottish Retail Consortium and (b) Internet sales as a … Continue reading

Posted in Black Friday, Consumer Change, Consumers, Covid19, Data, Food Retailing, Internet shopping, Lockdown, Online Retailing, Retail Change, Retailers, Scotland, Scottish Retail Sales, Scottish Retailing, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Confidence, Cash and Friction: Shopping in Scotland

So, shops (well those not cooped up in an indoor shopping centre) in Scotland are now open. The long road back to re-opening the economy has taken another step forward, and one result is a gigantic queue outside a city … Continue reading

Posted in Cash, Click and Collect, Consumer Change, Consumers, Convenience, Covid19, Employees, Friction, High Streets, Home Delivery, Internet shopping, Lockdown, Online Retailing, Opening Hours, Queuing, Retail Change, Scotland, Scotland's Town and High Streets, Scottish Retailing, Shopping, Shopping Centres, Social Distancing, Town Centres, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Shopping with Confidence?

Three months on and the great unlocking has begun in earnest.  No more testing your eyesight, it’s now about testing your bank balance – in Northern Ireland and England to begin with, Wales today and then Scotland.  “Non-essential” stores are … Continue reading

Posted in Consumers, Lockdown, Non-food retailing, Rents, Retail Sales, Retailers, Retailing, Scotland, Towns, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Shopping in a Post-Lockdown World

Well, we’ve just had the sunniest spring on record, as well as the driest.  As we apparently ease out of lockdown we can but hope that such conditions continue, because when you look at some of the operational actions retailers … Continue reading

Posted in Consumers, Covid19, Employees, Employment, Internet shopping, Lockdown, Online Retailing, Places, Retailers, Scottish Government, Shopping, Shopping Centres, Social Distancing, Town Centres, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Tracking the Impact of Lockdown on Retailers

The impact of COVID-19 has hit retailers in different ways. We are now beginning to see the official figures and some retailers have provided updates. As anticipated in a previous post, the April sales figures for Scotland showed a massive … Continue reading

Posted in B&Q, Click and Collect, Consumers, Contactless, Covid19, Employment practices, Food, Home Delivery, Internet, Internet shopping, Kingfisher, Lockdown, Multichannel, Next, Online Retailing, Poland, Regulation, Retail Change, Retail Sales, Retailers, Sainsbury, Screwfix, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Retailing, Shopping and Covid-19

Over the last couple of months I have produced on this blog a range of pieces around retailing, shopping and the coronavirus pandemic.  There will no doubt be more to be said as the situation develops. One of these pieces … Continue reading

Posted in Community, Consumer Change, Consumers, Covid19, Employment, Employment practices, Government, High Streets, Independents, Institute for Retail Studies, Internet shopping, Lockdown, Multichannel, Online Retailing, Panic buying, Places, Public Policy, Reinvention, Retail Change, Retail Policy, Retail Sales, Retailers, Retailing, Scotland's Town and High Streets, Scotland's Towns Partnership, Scottish Government, Scottish Retailing, Shopping, Social Inequality, Tax, Town Centres, Towns, Uncategorized, University of Stirling | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Need for a Digital Tax

The origins of this post lie in early March when we were delighted, in what now seems another era, to host Helen Dickenson, the Chief Executive of the British Retail Consortium, at our Retail Futures event. She spoke on the … Continue reading

Posted in Amazon, BRC, Competition, Covid19, Digital, High Streets, Internet, Internet shopping, Local Authorities, Online Retailing, Places, Reinvention, Retail Change, Retail Economy, Retail Policy, Retail Sales, Social Inequality, Social Justice, Spaces, Tax, Town Centres, Towns, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

What Should We Value about Retailing and Towns and What Should We Do About Them?

Apologies, this took a little longer and got a bit lengthier than I originally intended.   “If they look beyond heroic individualism and accept that individuals exist in a network of social bonds and obligations, we might just see a … Continue reading

Posted in Community, Consumer Change, Consumers, Employment, Food, Food Banks, Food Retailing, Government, Grocery, Health, Healthy Living, High Streets, Independents, Leadership, Local Retailers, Non-food retailing, Places, Proactive Planning, Rates, Reinvention, Retail Change, Retail Planning, Retailing, Scottish Government, Shopping, Spaces, Streets, Streetscapes, Supply Chains, Tax, Town Centres, Towns, Uncategorized, Urban | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Scottish Retail Sales: seeing the impact of Lockdown

Earlier today (22nd April) the March figures from the Scottish Retail Sales Monitor (managed by the British Retail Consortium and KPMG) were published. They were as bad as everyone expected, and the commentary in the media showed due concern (for … Continue reading

Posted in Availability, BRC, Closure, Community, Consumer Change, Consumers, Convenience stores, Covid19, Food, Food Retailing, Grocery, High Streets, Independents, Internet shopping, Lockdown, Market Shares, Non-food retailing, Panic buying, Places, Rents, Resilience, Retail Change, Retail Economy, Retail Sales, Retailers, Retailing, Scotland's Town and High Streets, Scottish Retail Consortium, Scottish Retail Sales, Scottish Retailing, Shopping, Social Inequality, Supply Chains, Town Centres, Towns, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Supermarket Nightmares: Keeping your Distance

In, what seems like an eternity ago.  I got into a degree of trouble for suggesting that food retailers, for good or bad, were ‘social engineers’ and we needed to recognise and understand the implications of this.  This was on … Continue reading

Posted in Academics, Amazon Go, Behavioural Economics, Consumer Change, Consumer Choice, Consumers, Dark Stores, Design, Employment practices, Food Retailing, Food Standards Scotland, Health, Panic buying, Retail Change, Retailers, Social Inequality, Supermarket, Uncategorized, University of Stirling, Well being | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment