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.

Yours for £1 (not really)

It was an eye-catching gimmick, and it did the job, getting media coverage (and me onto the radio (again)). In early February, at a London auction The Postings shopping centre in Kirkcaldy was put up for sale with a reserve … Continue reading

Posted in Buildings, Community, Community Development, Creative Places, Dumfries, High Streets, Kirkcaldy, Landlords, Localisation, Places, Property, Regeneration, Retail Change, Scotland's Town and High Streets, Scotland's Towns Partnership, Shopping Centres, Town Centre Living, Town Centres, Towns, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

#Woolies10

I was out at the country on the tenth ‘anniversary’ of the closure of the last Woolworths store in the UK – 6th January to be exact.   I had already contributed to an element of the ‘celebration’/‘remembrance’, so didn’t feel … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Buildings, Churn, Closure, Consumers, Corporate History, Ghost Signs, Heritage, High Streets, Historic Shops, History, Pound Shops, Poundland, Retail Failure, Shopfronts, Store Closures, Streetscapes, Towns, Uncategorized, Urban History, Woolworths | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Retail Disruptors – the spectacular rise and impact of the hard discounters

The rise of the hard discounters is a well-observed phenomenon of continuing research endeavour and commentary.  In the UK, as is well known, Aldi and Lidl have captured considerable market share over the last decade. ‘Retail Disruptors’ by Jan-Benedict Steenkamp … Continue reading

Posted in Academics, Aldi, Competition, Consumer Choice, Discounters, Food Retailing, Jack's, Lidl, Market Shares, Pricing, Retail Change, Retailers, Strategy, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Food, health and data: developing transformative food retailing

In early November 2018, a book on Case Studies in Food Retailing and Distribution was published, edited by John Byrom and Dominic Medway.  Amongst the very wide ranging and interesting chapters, was an effort by myself and two colleagues from … Continue reading

Posted in Academics, Behavioural Economics, Books, Data, Diet and Health, Digital, Ethics, Food, Food Retailing, Health, Loyalty, Loyalty Schemes, Retailers, Social Change, Uncategorized, Well being | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Brexit and the ‘F**K Business’ Approach

Boris Johnson’s view of the importance of business to the economy and to the care and concern he gave the business view on Brexit was well covered at the time.  Dominic Raab’s more recent revelation that Dover was actually quite … Continue reading

Posted in Brexit, Consumers, Disasters, distribution, European Union, Frictionless, Just in Time, Logistics, Politicians, Resilience, Retailers, Supply Chains, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

HMV – predictable or what?

125 stores, 2200 direct employees, an unknown number of individuals and businesses also linked to, and supplying, the company;  the administration and likely demise of HMV would be problematic at any time but between Christmas and New Year it has … Continue reading

Posted in administration, Amazon, Boxing Day, Closure, Competition, Consumer Change, Customer Service, Government, High Streets, HMV, Internet shopping, Local Retailers, Online Retailing, Rates, Record stores, Retail Change, Retail Failure, Tax, Technology, Timpsons, Town Centres, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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