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.

Landlords vs Retailers or Zombies vs Aliens?

There are not many reasons for feeling sorry for Philip Green (see my earlier blogs here  here and here and those were before the latest American and other revelations), but the fact that he is in such a weakened state … Continue reading

Posted in Advertising, Arcadia, Closure, CVA, Inter-depenendencies, Landlords, management, Philip Green, Property, Rates, Rents, Retail Change, Store Closures, Town Centres, Towns, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Future of Shopping Centres in Scotland’s Towns

There is no doubt that retailing is undergoing a major transformation.  In popular press terms this is the ‘death of the high street’, a phrase which is wrong on so many levels; it is not the death and it is … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Government, High Streets, Kirkcaldy, Local Authorities, Malls, Paisley, Places, Policy, Public Realm, Regeneration, Retail Change, Retail Policy, Retailers, Retailing, Scotland's Town and High Streets, Scotland's Towns Partnership, Scottish Government, Scottish Retailing, Shopping Centres, Spaces, Streetscapes, Sustainable Development, Town Centre Action Plan, Town Centres, Towns, Uncategorized, University of Stirling | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Return to Sender? Deposit Return Schemes

I am in the fortunate position of being able to get involved in two Scottish Parliament Cross Party Groups; one on Towns and Town Centres linked to Scotland’s Towns Partnership, and one on Independent Convenience Stores linked to the Scottish … Continue reading

Posted in Community Grocer, Consumer Lifestyle, Convenience stores, Deposit Return Scheme, Food Retailing, Government, Keep Scotland Beautiful, Legislation, Local Retailers, Public Realm, Regulation, Retailers, Retailing, Returns, Reverse Vending, Scottish Government, Scottish Grocers Federation, Small Shops, Uncategorized, Vending Machines | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Efficiency or Idiocy?

For some time it has been apparent that Dave Lewis has been determined to address the ‘bloat’ in Tesco and cut back on all sorts of things.  In the big picture out have gone most of the diversifications of the … Continue reading

Posted in Boots, Competition, Consumer Change, Consumers, Costs, Customer Service, distribution, Food Retailing, Local Retailers, Pharmacy, Plastic Bags, Retailers, Self-checkout, Stirling, Tax, Tesco, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Feargal Quinn 1936-2019

On the 25th April, it was announced that Feargal Quinn the legendary Irish retail businessman, founder of Superquinn, had passed away.   The President of Ireland said There have been many tributes and obituaries to him in the days that have … Continue reading

Posted in Alumni, Consumer Lifestyle, Customer engagement, Customer Service, Food Retailing, Ireland, Retail leadership, Retailers, Retailing, Supermarket, Superquinn, Uncategorized, University of Stirling | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Asda/Sainsbury’s vs the CMA: The verdict

If this was a boxing match, then the result was a clear knockout, perhaps to the surprise of some onlookers.  As one of my followers on Twitter noted, it is nice to see a regulator regulating.  In this case, it … Continue reading

Posted in Asda, CMA, Competition, Competition and Markets Authority, Consumer Choice, Consumers, Convenience stores, Cooperatives, Food Retailing, Internet shopping, Lidl, Market Shares, Regulation, Retail Change, Retail Policy, Retailing, Sainsbury, Supermarket, Uncategorized, Waitrose | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Debenhams and Tesco

It is necessary to start this blog post by reflecting that underneath the news stories and headlines are real personal stories in which individuals are losing their jobs.  Too often it is easy to focus on the store closure and … Continue reading

Posted in administration, Consumer Choice, Consumers, CVA, Debenhams, Department Stores, Employees, Rates, Rents, Retail Change, Retail Failure, Sports Direct, Store Closures, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments