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.

Time Out in Lisbon: Part One

It has been some time since I was in Lisbon and thus it was a pleasure to receive an invite to present a keynote to a conference on retail, consumption and urban governance, especially in early autumn, which is slightly … Continue reading

Posted in Academics, Architecture, Brands, Eataly, Emporium Shokuhin, Food and Beverage, Food Court, Food Tourism, Gastronomy, Historic Shops, History, Lisbon, Markets, Places, Regeneration, Retailers, Scotland Food and Drink, Singapore, Time Out, Tourism | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Are Retailers Social Engineers?

A few months ago, we published our report for Food Standards Scotland (FSS) entitled “Identifying and Understanding the Factors that can Transform the Retail Environment to Enable Healthier Purchasing by Consumers”.  The report and various summaries along with our brief … Continue reading

Posted in Community Grocer, Consumer Lifestyle, Consumers, Convenience stores, Cross Party Group, Deposit Return Scheme, Diet and Health, Food, Food Retailing, Food Standards, Health, Healthcare Retail Standard, Healthy Living, Independents, Local Retailers, Restaurants, Retail Change, Retailers, Scotland Food and Drink, Scottish Grocers Federation, Small Shops, Social Inequality, Social Justice, Sugar Tax, Waste | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Barclay Review

A few weeks have now passed since the publication of the much anticipated Barclay Review of Non Domestic Rates in Scotland.  I was away at the time and did not get much sense of how it was received, though did … Continue reading

Posted in Barclay Review, Buildings, Closure, Government, Internet, Legislation, Online Retailing, Policy, Property, Rates, Retailers, Scotland's Town and High Streets, Scottish Government, Small Business Bonus Scheme, Small Shops, Tax, Town Centres, Vacancies | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Traditions and Ghosts in Scotland’s Shops

Anyone following my twitter feed (@sparks_stirling) will have encountered my fascination and interest in ghost signs. It has also been included in some musings from me and a guest contribution to this blog.  I had a previous tendency to focus … Continue reading

Posted in Advertising, Architecture, Buildings, Edinburgh, Fife, Ghost Signs, Heritage, Historic Shops, History, Places, Retail History, Royal Mile, Scotland's Town and High Streets, Shopfronts, Streetscapes, Urban History | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Big Show (Y Sioe Fawr)

A few weeks ago I attended the Royal Welsh Show (Y Sioe Fawr) at Llanelwedd/Builth Wells.  For a number of years I have been to the Royal Highland Show at Ingliston and have always thought it to be a large … Continue reading

Posted in Farmers Markets, Festivals, Food and Beverage, Food Quality, Food Retailing, Markets, Producers, Rates, Retail Economy, Retailers, Rural, Sustainability, Tax | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Embracing Failure in the Shadow of Success

This post’s title is the sub-title from a book I recently read.  It concerns Mick Channon Jnr and his relationship with his father, who he describes as “an arthritic workaholic grumpy old bastard” and only grudgingly as an ex England … Continue reading

Posted in Academics, Bookmakers, Charity Shops, Closure, Consumer Lifestyle, Discounters, Heritage, High Streets, Local Retailers, Markets, Places, Planning, Pound Shops, Property, Regeneration, Retail Economy, Shopfronts, Social Inequality, Social Justice, Store Closures, Town Centres, Towns | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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 , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment