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.

Ghosts in the Rockies

In one of the many ironies of destroying my knee in May, we were left with a race against time to see if I was fit enough to go on a booked holiday in late August and early September. Would … Continue reading

Posted in Advertising, Architecture, Buildings, Canada, Corporate branding, Downtown, Ghost Signs, Heritage, High Streets, Historic Shops, Places, Retail History, Signage, Small Towns, Streetscapes, Urban History, USA | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Three Go To An Exhibition

It was not quite my shortest visit to Singapore, but it came close; a couple of days launching a new partnership with Amity University and our annual graduation ceremony with SIM.  For reading on the plane I had grabbed a book … Continue reading

Posted in Advertising, Architecture, archives, Department Stores, Historic Shops, History, Retail Change, Retail History, Retailers, Singapore, Urban History | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Challenging Times in Food Retailing, continued

The pressures in the food retailing sector – especially for the ‘legacy’ operators – are well known and continue to build. The rise of the discounters (see the last post), the continuing growth of the internet and the consumer demand … Continue reading

Posted in Aldi, Asda, CMA, Competition, Competition and Markets Authority, Consumer Change, Discounters, Food Retailing, Internet shopping, Jack's, Lidl, Market Shares, Mergers, Networks, Store Closures, Tesco | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Twenty One Years of UK Grocery Market Share

UK Grocery Market Shares are a little dependent on who you believe. In my case, I have chosen one group (initially TNS, subsequently taken over by Kantar) and stuck with them. I have wanted not to focus on the short-term … Continue reading

Posted in Aldi, Asda, Discounters, Food Retailing, Lidl, Market Shares, Retail Change, Sainsbury, Tesco, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Trading Places: our Town and Country Planning Columns

In 2012 Anne Findlay and I attempted to take over from Professor Cliff Guy who had provided the Trading Places columns in Town and Country Planning for 12 years.  In the subsequent 6 years we have produced 23 columns, but … Continue reading

Posted in Academics, Alcohol, BIDS, Bill Grimsey, Bookmakers, Consumer Change, Consumers, Farm Shops, Food Retailing, Government, High Streets, Internet shopping, Mary Portas, Places, Planning, Pop-Up Shops, Proactive Planning, Rates, Resilience, Retail Change, Retail Parks, Retail Planning, Retail Policy, Social Inequality, Town & Country PLanning, Town Centre Review, Town Centres, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Putting Towns on the Policy Map: Understanding Scottish Places (USP) and Data

As an academic, I probably have an irrational interest in data.  To a great extent it is academic life-blood and I seem to have spent a lot of my adult life either obsessing or arguing over it.  It therefore really … Continue reading

Posted in Academics, Bill Grimsey, Consumer Change, Data, High Streets, Internet shopping, Large Store Levy, Leadership, Local Authorities, Online Retailing, Rates, Retail Change, Retailers, Sales, Scotland's Town and High Streets, Scottish Retail Consortium, Scottish Retailing, Shop Numbers, Town Centre Review, Town Centres, Towns, Uncategorized, Understanding Scottish Places | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Damaged Goods

As Private Eye put it, serialised exclusively across all newspapers, this book says that Philip Green is not a nice person.  “Quelle surprise” as they may say in Croydon.  But on the other hand, Oliver Shah is the Sunday Times … Continue reading

Posted in BHS, Employees, Finance, Government, Leadership, Legislation, Pensions, Philip Green, Politicians, Regulation, Retail Failure, Retail leadership, Shareholders, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment