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.

Dublin’s Fair City

Every two years the conference of the European Association for Education and Research in Commercial Distribution (EAERCD) comes around.  Now in its 19th incarnation, this academic conference attracts retail scholars from across the globe to present and discuss their latest … Continue reading

Posted in Advertising, Architecture, Art Deco, Buildings, Burtons, Convenience stores, Corporate History, Dublin, EAERCD, Ghost Signs, Heritage, Historic Shops, History, Markets, Retail History, Shopfronts, Spar, Tobacco, Urban History | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Understanding Welsh Places

Since the development of Understanding Scottish Places (USP) there has been a lot of interest in both the development itself and its potential to be replicated in other countries.  At events in Scotland and when STP and others have presented … Continue reading

Posted in Academics, Carnegie UK Trust, CLES, Data, Local Authorities, Places, Planning, Relationships, Scotland's Town and High Streets, Scotland's Towns Partnership, Scottish Government, Small Towns, Town Centre Action Plan, Town Centre Review, Town Centres, Towns, Towns Typology, Understanding Scottish Places, Understanding Welsh Places, University of Stirling, Wales | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Scottish Diet and Retail Shops

The Scottish diet has become a short-hand for unhealthy living.  All the evidence points to its stubborn lack of change despite information, exhortation and even small measures of legislation.  Whilst retailers and manufacturers have taken some actions on reformulation of … Continue reading

Posted in Academics, Advertising, Availability, Behavioural Economics, Brands, Consumer Choice, Consumer Lifestyle, Diet and Health, Discounts, Food Retailing, Food Standards, Healthcare Retail Standard, Labelling, Marketing, Merchandising, Policy, Pricing, Research, Retail Policy, Retailers, Scotland, Scotland Food and Drink, Scottish Retailing, Small Shops, Space, Sugar Tax, Supermarket, Suppliers, Tax, Unit Pricing, University of Stirling | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Lost Broch of Stirling

I am not sure what it says about me, but I have been seduced into some small crowdfunding projects over the last few years.  The subjects have been food, drink, rugby and history, so maybe I do know how and … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Brochs, Buildings, Crowdfunding, Experiential, Heritage, History, Incredible Edible, Retail Change, Sexism, Social media, Stirling, University of Stirling, Urban, Urban History | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Business Rates: an election issue (not)

This blog has covered the issue of rates on a number of occasions (e.g. rates relief, a levy, some rates and the Grimsey report, the poll tax and business rates) never fully satisfactory, and indeed, re-reading the pieces, with a … Continue reading

Posted in Closure, Governance, Government, High Streets, Internet, Internet shopping, Large Store Levy, Mary Portas, Online Retailing, Places, Politicians, Public Health lev, Rates, Regulation, Retail Policy, Retailers, Store Closures, Tax, Town & Country PLanning, Town Centres | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Benefits of Collaboration

Last week I gave two presentations – well to be more exact I did that academic thing and did two versions of the same presentation.  The first was a presentation to a UKCGE workshop on Collaborative Doctorates; the audience was … Continue reading

Posted in Academics, Collaboration, Competition and Markets Authority, Consumer Change, Data, ESRC, Local Data Company, PhD, Places, Retailing, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Taxing Times: Tesco and Poland

The financial results for Tesco last week brought forward a lot of comment and some interesting thoughts, not least the looming pension deficit and the exceptional items booked into the accounts.  Oh, and the underlying performance, which was quite good. … Continue reading

Posted in European Union, International Retailing, Large Store Levy, Poland, Profits, Public Health lev, Regulation, Retail Levy, Retail Policy, Tax, Tesco | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment