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.

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

Vacancies and Store Closures

Over the last few years, vacancies and store closures have not been out of the news.  Whilst vacancy levels may have dropped off from their peak a few years ago, there is a continuation of stories about the closure rates … Continue reading

Posted in Closure, Competition, Consumer Change, Government, High Streets, Local Data Company, Places, Public Realm, Retail Change, Retail Economy, Retail Failure, Retailers, Retailing, Scotland, Scotland's Town and High Streets, Scotland's Towns Partnership, Scottish Government, Scottish Retailing, Shop Numbers, Store Closures, Tax, Town Centre Review, Town Centres, Towns, Uncategorized, Vacancies | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Scotland’s Towns – a decade of learning (hopefully)

As this post is published (3 April) I am presenting at an event held to formally launch Scotland’s Town Centre Boost Fund of £50m. The Town Centre Fund has been set up by Scottish Government and COSLA and aims “to … Continue reading

Posted in Government, High Streets, Place Standard, Places, Regeneration, Retail Change, Scotland's Improvement Districts, Scotland's Town and High Streets, Scotland's Towns Partnership, Scottish Government, Town Centre Action Plan, town centre first, Town Centre Living, Town Centre Review, Town Centres, Towns, Uncategorized, Understanding Welsh Places, USP | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Herkku Food Market Delicatessen – Helsinki

Visiting Helsinki for a couple of days (see blog here) allowed me also to experience a guided visit to the S-Group’s Herkku Food Market Delicatessen in the basement of the Stockmann Department Store.  Stockmann is an institution in Finland, being … Continue reading

Posted in Consumer Lifestyle, Cooperatives, Customer Service, Delicatessen, Deposit Return Scheme, Finland, Food, Food and Beverage, Food Retailing, Format, Herkku, Merchandising, Restaurants, Retailers, Retailing, Service Quality, Town Centre Living, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Policy Interventions for Healthier Diets: Insights from Scotland

Last week I was in Helsinki at the invitation of Hannu Saarijarvi to present two sessions to selected Finnish Ministries and to the S-Group. As noted before in this blog I have co-authored a book chapter with Hannu and Sonja … Continue reading

Posted in Consumer Lifestyle, Cooperatives, Diet and Health, Food Retailing, Food Standards, Government, Health, Healthcare Retail Standard, Healthy Living, Labelling, Legislation, Loyalty Schemes, Policy, Retail Policy, Retailers, Retailing, Scotland, Scottish Government, Social Inequality, Uncategorized, University of Stirling | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

An Aide-Memoire for Towns

Guest Blog by Matthew Hopkinson In December 2018 I decided that to try to help Towns better understand the challenges they face; there should be something that could be an easy reference document. This came about from completing day one … Continue reading

Posted in High Streets, Places, Planning, Public Realm, Scotland's Towns Partnership, town centre first, Town Centres, Towns, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Next Ten Years of Grocery Retailing?

Given we are less than 10 weeks away from Brexit and the possible end of the grocery world as we know, writing a post about retailing a decade ahead seems foolhardy (spoiler alert; it is).  But bear with me. Let’s … Continue reading

Posted in Amazon, Asda, Brexit, Competition, Consumer Change, Customer engagement, Food Retailing, Property, Reinvention, Retail Change, Retail Failure, Sainsbury, Store Closures, Tesco, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment