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 Education and Students.

Week 26 in my Greenhouse

Anyone who follows me on twitter will have become used to Saturday pictures and tweets about the progress or not in my greenhouse.  On the 28th March I began (week 1) and here we are at week 26 – half … Continue reading

Posted in Availability, Covid19, Food, Garden Centres, Gardens, Lockdown, Logistics, Retailers, Retailing, Rugby Union, Seeds, Twitter, Uncategorized, Wales | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Commuting and Retailing in Town Centres

It is not an unusual state of mind these days, but I am puzzled over a couple of things that have been the topic of discussions (or in the first case the media as well) I have been in over … Continue reading

Posted in Cities, Commuting, Decentralisation, Government, Localisation, Places, Reinvention, Retail Parks, Retailers, Retailing, Shopping, Stirling, Sustainability, Town Centres, Towns | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Buttercup Dairy Company

One of the most enjoyable things about social media is the ease of connectivity to people, their work and interesting (well, to me) things.  It really is so much more simpler and easier than decades ago. A good example of … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Books, Buttercup Dairy Company, Corporate History, Creative Places, Edinburgh, Food Retailing, Grocery, Heritage, Historic Shops, History, Retail Change, Retail History, Retailing, Scotland, Scotland's Town and High Streets, Shopfronts, Signage, Town Centres, Uncategorized, Urban History | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Scotland’s Town Centre Action Plan Review

On 1st July 2020, it was announced that an Expert Review Group had been formed by the Scottish Government to undertake an appraisal of the Town Centre Action Plan published in 2013 as a response to the National Review of … Continue reading

Posted in Barclay Review, BIDS, Bids Scotland, Bill Grimsey, Community, Consumer Change, Consumer Lifestyle, Consumers, Government, Health, Internet shopping, Local Retailers, Public Realm, Retail Change, Retailers, Scotland, Scotland's Improvement Districts, Scotland's Town and High Streets, Scotland's Towns Partnership, Scottish Government, Shopping, Town Centre Action Plan, Town Centre Action Plan Review Group, town centre first, Town Centre Living, Town Centre Review, Town Centres, Towns, Uncategorized, Understanding Scottish Places | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

‘Writing the Rules of the Game’: Non-market Strategy, commercial interests and health policy

The UK Government has recently published a set of proposals and statements about restricting commercial activity as part of an approach to tackle obesity.  We have also seen the first stage of a ‘National’ Food Strategy be published.  In Scotland … Continue reading

Posted in Academics, Alcohol, Consumers, Diet and Health, Food Retailing, Food Standards Scotland, Health, Healthcare Retail Standard, Hospital Shops, Large Store Levy, Markets, Non-market Strategy, Politicians, Profits, Promotion, Public Health, Public Health lev, Public Policy, Regulation, Retail Levy, Scottish Government, Sugar Tax, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Retail sales surge close to pre-lockdown levels”

The retail headlines last week were interesting. Based on the latest Office for National Statistics retail sales data (for June 2020), the media packaged up a story about how UK retail sales had surged to pre-lockdown levels and were close … Continue reading

Posted in Consumer Change, Covid19, Data, Food Standards, Home Delivery, Internet shopping, Lockdown, Office for National Statistics, Online Retailing, Retail Change, Retail Sales, Sales, Shopping, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Grocery Market Shares in the UK 2020

In July of each year I have recorded the  Grcery Market Share of leading retailers in Great Britain as shown by Kantar data. This has been going on since 1997 and I have mentioned this series in this blog before … Continue reading

Posted in Asda, Cooperative Group, Cooperatives, Covid19, Discounters, Food Retailing, Home Delivery, Independents, Internet shopping, Kantar, Lidl, Localisation, Lockdown, Market Shares, Ocado, Online Retailing, Retail Change, Retail Sales, Retailers, Retailing, Tesco, Uncategorized, Wal-Mart | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Scotland Loves Local

People across the country are being urged to think local first and help fuel the nation’s financial fightback from coronavirus by supporting local businesses whilst still being aware of the public health guidelines. On the 20th July Scotland’s Towns Partnership … Continue reading

Posted in Bids Scotland, Campaigns, Community, Consumer Choice, Consumers, Covid19, Government, Independents, Internet shopping, Local Authorities, Local Multiplier, Local Retailers, Localisation, Places, Retailers, Retailing, Scotland's Improvement Districts, Scotland's Town and High Streets, Scotland's Towns Partnership, Scottish Government, Scottish Grocers Federation, Scottish Retailing, Town Centres, Towns, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lockdown Reading: Welsh Saints on the Mormon Trail

When we were living in the USA in 2000-1 we flew to Jackson Hole in Wyoming via Salt Lake City.  That last flight to Jackson Hole was the most unpleasant flight I’ve taken before or since, shaken and bounced over … Continue reading

Posted in Ajax Underground Store, Buildings, Catalogues, Cooperatives, Department Stores, Emigration, Historic Shops, History, Mormons, Places, Retail History, Retailers, Retailing, Uncategorized, USA, Wales, Zion Co-operative Mercantile Institution | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Build Back Better: Bill Grimsey and Covid

When Mary Portas produced her report for the UK Government on high streets, Bill Grimsey was quick to posit an alternative and to focus on leadership and technology for places.  His report and its follow-up a few years later have … Continue reading

Posted in Bill Grimsey, CLES, Community, Consumers, Covid19, Government, High Streets, Leadership, Local Authorities, Mary Portas, Places, Proactive Planning, Public Policy, Regulation, Reinvention, Retail Change, Scotland's Town and High Streets, Scotland's Towns Partnership, Scottish Government, Social Justice, Town Centre Action Plan, Town Centre Review, Town Centres, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments