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.

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 , , , , | 2 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

A New User’s Reflections on Online Grocery Shopping

I am old enough to remember the initial Tesco home shopping trials in Gateshead in the early 1980s (Gateshead Shopping and Information System) when home shopping via Videotex (look it up if you don’t know) was seen as being a … Continue reading

Posted in Availability, Consumer Change, Food Retailing, Gateshead SIS, History, Internet shopping, Local Authorities, Online Retailing, Retail Change, Service Quality, Supply Chains, Television, Tesco | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Orkney – the Second Leg

Our recent visit to Orkney was not meant to be about retailing or shops, but inevitably just wandering around Stromness and Kirkwall one can’t help but look at the retailing.  As I noted in the earlier blog, the overwhelming sense … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Art Deco, Environmental Quality, Ghost Signs, High Streets, Historic Shops, History, Orkney, Places, Planning, Post Offices, Regeneration, Retail History, Scotland's Town and High Streets, Shopfronts, Signage, Small Towns, Streets, Streetscapes, Stromness, Towns | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tiles and Sardines

For those who catch up with me on Twitter, a few weeks ago we had a long weekend in Lisbon – no, not for Eurovision – and I said I would do a post on retail things of interest we … Continue reading

Posted in 3D Printing, Architecture, Azulejo, Cooperatives, Fish, Food Retailing, Historic Shops, History, Lisbon, Markets, Producers, Retail History, Sardines, Shopfronts, Streetscapes, Urban History | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment