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.

“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 , , , , | 3 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

Fake Shops and some other retail news

Everyone pretty much agrees these days that we are living in an era of ‘fake news’, or outright lies as it would be better called.  You know the sort of things – £350m per week to spend on the NHS, … Continue reading

Posted in BHS, Brands, Employment, High Streets, Independents, Local Retailers, Places, Retail Failure, Sainsbury, Store Closures, Tesco, Town Centres, Waterstones | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Analysing and Understanding Shopping Centres

One of the good things about being a Professor of Retail Studies is that you get to meet interesting people with interesting ideas.  Over the last year or so I have been involved on some executive education with Bayfield Training … Continue reading

Posted in Bayfield, Brands, Data, Department Stores, Food Court, Inter-depenendencies, Property, Relationships, Retail Quilts, Retailers, Shopping Centres | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

So you think you know Scottish Towns?

Almost two years ago, Scotland’s Towns Partnership launched Understanding Scottish Places (USP) – a data platform to provide for the very first time consistent and comparable data on 479 Scottish Towns.  At a time when funding is tight, there was … Continue reading

Posted in Carnegie UK Trust, Data, Institute for Retail Studies, Local Authorities, Places, Planning, Research, Retail Policy, Scotland's Town and High Streets, Scotland's Towns Partnership, Scottish Government, Town Centre Action Plan, Town Centre Review, Town Centres, Towns, Towns Typology, Understanding Scottish Places, University of Stirling, USP | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Where Good Food is a Religion

Regular readers of this blog will be aware of my passion for Welsh rugby, fresh food and especially markets.  Every so often the stars align and we take ourselves off to Rome where all can be indulged.  And so it … Continue reading

Posted in Campagna Amica, Consumer Lifestyle, Diet and Health, Eataly, Farmers Markets, Food, Food Quality, Food Tourism, Gastronomy, Markets, Producers, Rugby Union, Scotland Food and Drink, Slow Food, Sparks, Supply Chains, Sustainability | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Two new academic papers on healthy eating and sport

The last few weeks of 2016 saw the release in early view of two new articles on which I am co-author.  Both are slightly unrelated directly to retailing, but they do have tangential interest for those who know my broader … Continue reading

Posted in Academics, Advertising, Communications, Consumer Lifestyle, Cooperative Group, CSR, Diet and Health, Food Retailing, Pricing, Promotion, Sport | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment