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.

Checkout the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee

In 2022 the May Bank Holiday will be moved to June and an additional day is being added to the list of bank holidays, so that there will be a four-day weekend.  This is all so that there can be … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

The Architecture of England’s Co-operative Movement

Over two and a half years ago I attended a seminar at the Engine Shed in Stirling called ‘Talking Shops’ and my blog discussion of the event can be found here.  In that post I noted the presentation by Lynn … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Art Deco, Buildings, Community, Cooperative Group, Cooperatives, Corporate branding, Corporate History, Department Stores, Design, Historic Shops, History, Hull, Localisation, Places, Retail Change, Retailers, Town Centres, Towns, Uncategorized, Urban History | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Convenience and Local Shop Retailing (and the new @Coopuk @StirUni)

On the 22nd October the Co-op opened its latest convenience store, at the heart of the University of Stirling.  This was the first Co-op franchise in Scotland and is part of the growth of the Co-op and the convenience and … Continue reading

Posted in Association of Convenience Stores, ATMs, Community, Consumers, Convenience, Convenience stores, Cooperative Group, Cooperatives, Covid19, Entrepreneurship, Food Retailing, Independents, Local Retailers, Post Offices, Scotland, Scottish Grocers Federation, Scottish Local Retailer, Scottish Retailing, Self-checkout, Small Shops, Uncategorized, University of Stirling | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

COVID-19: How Scotland’s Improvement Districts are supporting businesses and communities

In any normal year, we would be meeting at this time in Holyrood for the Annual Parliamentary Reception for the Cross Party Group on Towns and Town Centres. This of course is no normal year. The event is instead being … Continue reading

Posted in Bids Scotland, Covid19, Cross Party Group, Government, Local Authorities, Localisation, Scotland Loves Local, Scotland's Improvement Districts, Scotland's Town and High Streets, Scotland's Towns Partnership, Scottish Government, Town Centres, Towns, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

How is Coronavirus affecting the UK’s Retail Sector?

A couple of months ago, Professor Graeme Roy of the Fraser of Allander Institute invited me to try to answer the question posed at the head of this post.  He is part of / leading an ESRC funded ‘observatory’ (Coronavirus … Continue reading

Posted in Academics, Cities, Competition, Consumer Change, Consumers, Covid19, Essential Retailing, Food Retailing, Internet shopping, Local Retailers, Lockdown, Non-Essential Retailing, Office for National Statistics, Panic buying, Retail Change, Retail Sales, Retailers, Retailing, Sales, Town Centres, Towns, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Great Expectations

I was not intending to add to my previous two posts on data and reporting (footfall and store openings and closures), but then I saw the coverage (looking at you again in the first instance BBC) of last week’s Scottish … Continue reading

Posted in BRC, Consumer Change, Consumers, Data, Food Retailing, Non-food retailing, Retail Change, Retail Sales, Retailers, Scotland's Town and High Streets, Scottish Retail Consortium, Scottish Retail Sales, Towns, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Openings and Closures in 2020 – but of what?

The retail news cycle last Sunday was dominated by the Local Data Company/PwC report on openings and closures in the first half (well, to August) of this year. The headlines were positively apocalyptic, led by the BBC with its unambiguous … Continue reading

Posted in Academics, Churn, Closure, Consumer Change, Consumers, Data, High Streets, Local Data Company, Media, Ordnance Survey, Resilience, Retail Diversity, Retail Economy, Retailers, Small Towns, Town Centres, Towns, Uncategorized, Vacancies | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Footfall, Curfews and Data

There have been many outrageous statements made over the last months of the pandemic (and in terms of the subject of this post – footfall – in the months and years prior), but recent offerings have really taken the biscuit.  … Continue reading

Posted in Consumers, Covid19, Government, High Streets, Media, Places, Public Policy, Retail Policy, Shopping, Towns, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Week 26 in my Greenhouse

Anyone who follows me on twitter will have become used to Saturday pictures and tweets about the progress or not in my greenhouse.  On the 28th March I began (week 1) and here we are at week 26 – half … Continue reading

Posted in Availability, Covid19, Food, Garden Centres, Gardens, Lockdown, Logistics, Retailers, Retailing, Rugby Union, Seeds, Twitter, Uncategorized, Wales | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Commuting and Retailing in Town Centres

It is not an unusual state of mind these days, but I am puzzled over a couple of things that have been the topic of discussions (or in the first case the media as well) I have been in over … Continue reading

Posted in Cities, Commuting, Decentralisation, Government, Localisation, Places, Reinvention, Retail Parks, Retailers, Retailing, Shopping, Stirling, Sustainability, Town Centres, Towns | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment