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.

Business Rates: an election issue (not)

This blog has covered the issue of rates on a number of occasions (e.g. rates relief, a levy, some rates and the Grimsey report, the poll tax and business rates) never fully satisfactory, and indeed, re-reading the pieces, with a … Continue reading

Posted in Closure, Governance, Government, High Streets, Internet, Internet shopping, Large Store Levy, Mary Portas, Online Retailing, Places, Politicians, Public Health lev, Rates, Regulation, Retail Policy, Retailers, Store Closures, Tax, Town & Country PLanning, Town Centres | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Benefits of Collaboration

Last week I gave two presentations – well to be more exact I did that academic thing and did two versions of the same presentation.  The first was a presentation to a UKCGE workshop on Collaborative Doctorates; the audience was … Continue reading

Posted in Academics, Collaboration, Competition and Markets Authority, Consumer Change, Data, ESRC, Local Data Company, PhD, Places, Retailing, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Taxing Times: Tesco and Poland

The financial results for Tesco last week brought forward a lot of comment and some interesting thoughts, not least the looming pension deficit and the exceptional items booked into the accounts.  Oh, and the underlying performance, which was quite good. … Continue reading

Posted in European Union, International Retailing, Large Store Levy, Poland, Profits, Public Health lev, Regulation, Retail Levy, Retail Policy, Tax, Tesco | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Tesco, Booker and Poundland

In a recent Retail Week opinion piece the columnist John Richards mused about the cost of all the adventures Sainsbury have had over the years and whether the cost outweighed the benefits and whether the management time and effort could … Continue reading

Posted in Accounting, administration, Booker, Consumer Change, Food Retailing, Government, Mergers, Netto, Poundland, Regulation, Retail Change, Sainsbury, Shareholders, Store Closures, Tesco | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Ghost Signs and Retailing

As readers of this blog will know, I have always had an interest in the history of retailing and companies and businesses of the past. A good example has been the ongoing work with Neil Tyler around Sanders Bros, but … Continue reading

Posted in Academics, Advertising, Architecture, Art, Brands, Buildings, Consumer Change, Corporate History, Ghost Signs, Heritage, Historic Shops, History, Retail History, Sanders Bros, Shopfronts, Signage, Stirling, Urban History | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“The Ridiculous is no longer Unimaginable”

The other day I received an email saying that the 2016-2017 Annual Review of the Retail Think Tank was available.  It can be accessed and downloaded from here. The Retail Think Tank is just over 10 years old, being conceived … Continue reading

Posted in Black Friday, Brands, Competition, Consumer Change, European Union, International Retailing, Retail Change, Retail Health Index, Retail leadership, Retail Think Tank, Retailers, Store Closures | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

Taste the Landscape with Scotrail

I’ve always enjoyed travelling by train.  Maybe this stems from my grandfather being a blacksmith by trade and when I was young seeing him working on steam engines in Tondu sheds.  Or perhaps it comes from being packed off on … Continue reading

Posted in Advertising, Alcohol, Brexit, Diet and Health, European Union, Food, Food Tourism, Producers, Retail brands, Scotland Food and Drink, Scotrail, Suppliers | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment