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.

Then there were three?

British grocery retailing has for decades been dominated by a small number of large and powerful retailers. That remains the case. Over the period however the number of firms involved has altered. In the 1980s we talked about the “big … Continue reading

Posted in Aldi, Asda, Brands, CMA, Cost of Living, Discounters, Food Retailing, Grocery, Kantar, Lidl, Market Shares, Morrisons, Retail brands, Retail Change, Retail Sales, Retailers, Sainsbury, Tesco | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Cost-of-living Crisis and its impact on Retailers and their Customers

A few weeks ago, I posted a Q&A session I had done with The Conversation on the cost-of-living crisis. At the time I was working on a longer piece for the Economics Observatory. We wanted to wait for various data … Continue reading

Posted in Brands, Brexit, Consumer Confidence, Consumers, Cost of Living, Costs, Economics Observatory, Inflation, Producers, Product Sizes, Retail brands, Retail Economy, Retailers, Shrinkflation | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Grocery Market Shares in Great Britain (GB) 1997-2022

It’s July and that can only mean one thing – it is time to update the grocery market share data for Great Britain. Forget global warming and the heatwave and the cost-of-living crisis (not really for either), this is the … Continue reading

Posted in Asda, Brands, Consumers, Cooperative Group, Cost of Living, Covid19, Discounters, Food Retailing, Grocery, Inflation, Kantar, Lidl, Market Shares, Morrisons, Pandemic, Private brands, Private Label, Retail brands, Retail Change, Retailers, Sainsbury, Tesco | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Clapped Out

The last two weeks of June saw a mammoth effort in the University of Stirling to catch up on graduation events for our 2020 and 2021 cohorts as well as our 2022 graduands. Ten ceremonies over the two weeks saw … Continue reading

Posted in Academics, Architecture, Buildings, Campus Central, Design, Places, Reinvention, RICS, Scotland's Town and High Streets, Scottish Design Awards, University of Stirling | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Shopping: the cost of living crisis – Q&A with The Conversation

In between graduation ceremonies last Friday (as we caught up with the pandemic impacted ceremonies of 2020 and 2021), I was interviewed by Steven Vass of The Conversation about the cost of living crisis and Shopping. The result is a … Continue reading

Posted in Consumer Confidence, Consumers, Cost of Living, Discounters, Food, Food Banks, Food Retailing, Inflation, Local Retailers, Office for National Statistics, Pricing, Retail Sales, Retailers, Shopping, The Conversation | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Departing Stores and Place Vandalism

“Loss of local identity is a powerful factor that can influence the social and economic wellbeing of a town. By preserving the fabric of distinctive historic buildings, particularly those as prominent as former department stores, residents can recover a sense … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Buildings, City Centres, Department Stores, Design, Edinburgh, Heritage, High Streets, Historic Shops, Marks and Spencer, Oxford Street, Places, Town Centres, Urban History | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Town Centre Action Plan Launch and Roadshows

It was good to get back out and about and to be in Galashiels on the 31st May for the launch of the Town Centre Action Plan.  Last Autumn I wrote about the Great Tapestry of Scotland and its stunning … Continue reading

Posted in Government, Great Tapestry of Scotland, Local Authorities, Localisation, New Future for Scotland's Towns, Non-domestic rates, Place Based Investment Programme, Place Principle, Scotland, Scotland's Town and High Streets, Scotland's Towns Partnership, Scottish Government, Town Centre Action Plan, town centre first, Town Centre Review, Town Centres, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Co-operative Group Results 2021

A few weeks ago I was asked to provide a short analysis on the Co-operative Group’s results for 2021. This has now been published in Coop News. I repost it below. If nothing else it shows the impact of the … Continue reading

Posted in Availability, Community, Cooperative Group, Cooperatives, Covid19, Food Retailing, Membership, Retailing, Supply Chains | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Why is Historical Research Important in Marketing?

A couple of years ago I was invited by a good friend of mine to contribute to an inaugural special issue of a journal. Professor Kazuo Usui (Saitama Gakuen University), a frequent visitor to Stirling and Edinburgh (where he is … Continue reading

Posted in Academics, Consumer Change, Consumers, Data, Diaries, Food Retailing, History, Retail Change, Retail History, Retailers, Shopping | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Small Business Bonus Scheme

One of the recommendations of the 2017 Barclay Review of the Non-Domestic Rates System in Scotland was that an evaluation of the Small Business Bonus Scheme (SBBS) be undertaken. Five years on, it has finally arrived, all 232 pages of … Continue reading

Posted in Barclay Review, Government, Internet, Large Store Levy, Legislation, Local Authorities, Non-domestic rates, Online Retailing, Out of Town, Public Policy, Rates, Scotland's Town and High Streets, Scottish Government, Small Business Bonus Scheme, Small Shops, Tax, Town Centres | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment