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.

Place Based Loyalty

We have a new academic paper out – on place marketing and place based loyalty schemes (details at end of blog) – and in addition to wanting to say something about it, I felt the time was ripe for setting … Continue reading

Posted in Bids Scotland, Data, Local Multiplier, Local Retailers, Localisation, Perth, Places, Retailers, Scotland's Town and High Streets, Stirling, Uncategorized, University of Stirling, Urban | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Scottish Business Rates: a Local and/or National Issue?

A fair degree of concern was whipped up in the run-up to the New Year by the vote in the Scottish Parliament to give local councils the ability to set non-domestic, i.e. business rates. This is not yet confirmed as … Continue reading

Posted in Barclay Review, Bids Scotland, Government, Internet shopping, Legislation, Local Authorities, Local Retailers, Localisation, MSPs, Online Retailing, Rates, Regulation, Retail Levy, Retail Policy, Scotland's Town and High Streets, Scottish Government, Scottish Retail Consortium, Scottish Retailing, Small Business Bonus Scheme, Small Shops, Tax, Towns, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Quant (ifying) the Past

A weekend away in London, and a chance to take in some exhibitions and meet up with up friends.  The outcome; a great weekend but some contrasting cultural experiences.  Amongst the things we saw were the Tutankhamun exhibition at the … Continue reading

Posted in 1960s, Bazaar, Books, Clothes, Exhibitions, Fashion, History, Mary Quant, Pop-Up Shops, Uncategorized, Wholesaling | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Of Cows and Elephants

During our recent weekend in London we somehow found ourselves at Conway Street having a coffee in the old Welsh dairy which has featured in this blog before.  As my wife said, how did that happen?  A weekend away and … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Buildings, Burtons, Heritage, Historic Shops, History, London, MIlk, Retail History, Uncategorized, Urban History | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fighting Fit? Independent Convenience Stores and the Public Health Agenda

The last 2019 Cross Party Group for Independent Convenience Stores, held last week, was a cracker.  With all the excitement of the AGM (not really), it was almost too much to have three excellent presentations on retailing and the public … Continue reading

Posted in Academics, Alcohol, Best Start Foods, Convenience stores, Cross Party Group, Deposit Return Scheme, Diet and Health, Food Retailing, Food Standards Scotland, Government, Healthcare Retail Standard, Healthy Living, Independents, Internet shopping, Legislation, Local Retailers, Politicians, Products, Regulation, Retail leadership, Retail Policy, Scotland, Scottish Government, Scottish Grocers Federation, Scottish Local Retailer, Scottish Retailing, Small Shops, Sugar Tax, Uncategorized, University of Stirling | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Scotland’s Towns Conference 2019

One of the now established features of Scotland’s Towns Partnership and Scotland’s Towns Week is the Annual Conference.  For many years it has been located in the Central Belt, but for 2019 it relocated to Aberdeen.  There are many good … Continue reading

Posted in Aberdeen, Amsterdam, BIDS, Bids Scotland, Consumer Change, Cork, Creative Places, Development Trusts, Healthy Ageing, High Streets, Local Authorities, Localisation, Place Standard, Places, Policy, Public Realm, Retail Change, Retail Policy, Retailers, Scotland's Improvement Districts, Scotland's Town and High Streets, Scotland's Towns Partnership, Scottish Government, Scottish Retailing, Small Towns, Streetscapes, Town Centre Action Plan, town centre first, Town Centre Living, Town Centre Review, Town Centres, Towns, Uncategorized, Urban | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Shops: More or Less (and #IndieHour)

This blog has a number of recurring themes – or nightmares.  Most of them are focused around the themes of the mis-use of data, the lack of reaction about the structural change underway across retailing and the unwillingness of many … Continue reading

Posted in #IndieHour, Collaboration, Consumers, High Streets, Independents, Internet shopping, Landlords, Online Retailing, Reinvention, Relationships, Rents, Retail Change, Retailers, Small Shops, Start-ups, Towns, Uncategorized, University of Stirling, Vibrancy | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment