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.

“Soaring Vacancies” : perhaps or perhaps not?

The end of last week saw headlines about the number of vacant shops in Scotland. Typical Scottish newspaper examples included: The Herald The Scotsman So, something of a downer to end the first week out of lockdown in Scotland and … Continue reading

Posted in BRC, Consumers, Covid19, Data, Independents, Local Data Company, Lockdown, Online Retailing, Pandemic, Places, Rates, Rents, Retail Change, Retailers, Scotland, Scotland's Town and High Streets, Scottish Retail Consortium, Scottish Retailing, Shop Numbers, Shopping, Town Centres, Towns, Uncategorized, Vacancies | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Great Re-Awakening?

One week on from the first major easing of retail (and other) restrictions from the ‘Christmas’ lockdown in Scotland and everyone is wondering how it has been and how it is going?  For some the sight of people queuing at … Continue reading

Posted in Amazon, Consumers, Covid19, Lockdown, Pandemic, Primark, Queuing, Retail Sales, Retailers, Retailing, Scotland, Scottish Retail Sales, Shopping, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Locavore’s Bigger Plan

I am not sure when I first became aware of Locavore. It certainly was before they launched their Big Plan in 2015. I had a watching interest in the development of social and more sustainable retail food stores and supermarkets, … Continue reading

Posted in Community, Community Interest Company, Consumer Lifestyle, Crowdfunding, Employment practices, Ethics, Food, Food Retailing, Glasgow, Independents, Local Retailers, Localisation, Locavore, Lockdown, organic, Pandemic, Producers, Retail innovation, Retail leadership, Retailing, Scotland, Scotland Food and Drink, Scotland Loves Local, Scottish Local Retailer, Scottish Retailing, Social Change, Stirling, Supermarket, Suppliers, Supply Chains, Sustainability, Sustainable Development, Uncategorized, Veg Boxes, Wages, Waste, Wholesaling | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Aberdeen, No More?

The Covid pandemic has hit retailing hard. Government support (though important) has in no way matched the lost sales and business. Previous trends have been accelerated, most notably in terms of online sales. Retailers of all shapes and sizes have … Continue reading

Posted in 1960s, Aberdeen, Architecture, Bids Scotland, Buildings, City Centres, Closure, Consumers, Cooperatives, Covid19, Department Stores, Internet shopping, John Lewis Partnership, Lockdown, Norco, Online Retailing, Pandemic, Rates, Regulation, Rents, Retail Change, Retail Sales, Scotland's Town and High Streets, Shopping, Social value, Tax, Town Centre Action Plan, Town Centres, Towns, Uncategorized, Waitrose | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ten years on stirlingretail.com

Ten years ago today (6th April 2011) I put up my very first post on this blog.  My intention was really two fold.  First I wanted to have a place to collect and publicise retail things so as to avoid … Continue reading

Posted in Academics, Consumer Change, Convenience, Convenience stores, High Streets, Internet, Internet shopping, Local Retailers, Market Shares, Mary Portas, Multichannel, Online Retailing, Red Tape, Regulation, Retail Change, Retail Sales, Scotland, Scotland's Town and High Streets, Scottish Government, Scottish Grocers Federation, Scottish Retail Consortium, Scottish Retail Sales, Shopfronts, Stirling, Tesco, Town Centres, Towns, Uncategorized, Waitrose | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

An (Un)Happy Anniversary

On the 16th March 2020 I started working from home.  There had been an odd set of circumstances in the run-up to this date. We’d come back from South Africa in late January and I’d felt a little unwell; something … Continue reading

Posted in Amazon, Books, Cardiff, Christmas, Consumer Change, Consumer Lifestyle, Consumers, Covid19, Farmers Markets, Food, Food and Beverage, Food Retailing, Home Delivery, Independents, Internet shopping, Local Retailers, Localisation, Lockdown, Online Retailing, Pandemic, Producers, Products, Retail Change, Retailers, Retailing, Scotland Food and Drink, Scottish Retailing, Small Shops, Stirling, Uncategorized, Wholesaling | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

La Dolce Vita – or perhaps not

I am on annual leave today and tomorrow. These dates have been in the diary for some time; over a year to be precise.  Whilst being on leave will be a relief (for me and no doubt some colleagues) it … Continue reading

Posted in Consumers, Covid19, Food and Beverage, Italy, Markets, Pandemic, Retail Economy, Retailers, Rugby Union, Social Renewal, Sport, Uncategorized, Wales | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Money, Money, Money: Paying by Cash, Contactless Card or Digital?

In the UK Government Budget of the 3rd March it was announced that the upper limit for contactless card payments was to be lifted from £45 to £100. This reflects the rapid rise of contactless card payment (which began before … Continue reading

Posted in Amazon, Amazon Go, ATMs, Cash, Cashpoints, Consumer Change, Consumers, Contactless, Covid19, Credit and Debit Cards, European Union, Local Currency, Pandemic, Post Offices, Retailers, Self-Scanning, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Place for Older Consumers

A few weeks ago I reflected on my academic article output for 2020 and the, to me at least, surprise that I had achieved seven outputs.  I put this down to my co-authors, but did point out that this feat … Continue reading

Posted in Academics, Ageing, Community, HAGIS, Healthy Ageing, Healthy Living, High Streets, Internet, Internet shopping, Online Retailing, Places, Planning, Regeneration, Retailers, Scotland's Town and High Streets, Social Inequality, Town Centre Living, Town Centres, Towns, Uncategorized, Vibrancy | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Retail Sales in Great Britain, January 2021

A couple of weeks ago, the Office for National Statistics produced the monthly retail sales figures for Great Britain for January 2021.  This is the first full month of data since lockdown was reintroduced before and around Christmas. The press … Continue reading

Posted in Christmas, Click and Collect, Clothing, Consumer Change, Convenience stores, Covid19, Essential Retailing, Food Retailing, Internet shopping, Local Retailers, Localisation, Lockdown, Non-Essential Retailing, Non-food retailing, Office for National Statistics, Online Retailing, Pandemic, Retail Change, Retail Sales, Retailers, Supermarket, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment