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.

Feargal Quinn 1936-2019

On the 25th April, it was announced that Feargal Quinn the legendary Irish retail businessman, founder of Superquinn, had passed away.   The President of Ireland said There have been many tributes and obituaries to him in the days that have … Continue reading

Posted in Alumni, Consumer Lifestyle, Customer engagement, Customer Service, Food Retailing, Ireland, Retail leadership, Retailers, Retailing, Supermarket, Superquinn, Uncategorized, University of Stirling | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Asda/Sainsbury’s vs the CMA: The verdict

If this was a boxing match, then the result was a clear knockout, perhaps to the surprise of some onlookers.  As one of my followers on Twitter noted, it is nice to see a regulator regulating.  In this case, it … Continue reading

Posted in Asda, CMA, Competition, Competition and Markets Authority, Consumer Choice, Consumers, Convenience stores, Cooperatives, Food Retailing, Internet shopping, Lidl, Market Shares, Regulation, Retail Change, Retail Policy, Retailing, Sainsbury, Supermarket, Uncategorized, Waitrose | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Debenhams and Tesco

It is necessary to start this blog post by reflecting that underneath the news stories and headlines are real personal stories in which individuals are losing their jobs.  Too often it is easy to focus on the store closure and … Continue reading

Posted in administration, Consumer Choice, Consumers, CVA, Debenhams, Department Stores, Employees, Rates, Rents, Retail Change, Retail Failure, Sports Direct, Store Closures, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Vacancies and Store Closures

Over the last few years, vacancies and store closures have not been out of the news.  Whilst vacancy levels may have dropped off from their peak a few years ago, there is a continuation of stories about the closure rates … Continue reading

Posted in Closure, Competition, Consumer Change, Government, High Streets, Local Data Company, Places, Public Realm, Retail Change, Retail Economy, Retail Failure, Retailers, Retailing, Scotland, Scotland's Town and High Streets, Scotland's Towns Partnership, Scottish Government, Scottish Retailing, Shop Numbers, Store Closures, Tax, Town Centre Review, Town Centres, Towns, Uncategorized, Vacancies | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Scotland’s Towns – a decade of learning (hopefully)

As this post is published (3 April) I am presenting at an event held to formally launch Scotland’s Town Centre Boost Fund of £50m. The Town Centre Fund has been set up by Scottish Government and COSLA and aims “to … Continue reading

Posted in Government, High Streets, Place Standard, Places, Regeneration, Retail Change, Scotland's Improvement Districts, Scotland's Town and High Streets, Scotland's Towns Partnership, Scottish Government, Town Centre Action Plan, town centre first, Town Centre Living, Town Centre Review, Town Centres, Towns, Uncategorized, Understanding Welsh Places, USP | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Herkku Food Market Delicatessen – Helsinki

Visiting Helsinki for a couple of days (see blog here) allowed me also to experience a guided visit to the S-Group’s Herkku Food Market Delicatessen in the basement of the Stockmann Department Store.  Stockmann is an institution in Finland, being … Continue reading

Posted in Consumer Lifestyle, Cooperatives, Customer Service, Delicatessen, Deposit Return Scheme, Finland, Food, Food and Beverage, Food Retailing, Format, Herkku, Merchandising, Restaurants, Retailers, Retailing, Service Quality, Town Centre Living, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Policy Interventions for Healthier Diets: Insights from Scotland

Last week I was in Helsinki at the invitation of Hannu Saarijarvi to present two sessions to selected Finnish Ministries and to the S-Group. As noted before in this blog I have co-authored a book chapter with Hannu and Sonja … Continue reading

Posted in Consumer Lifestyle, Cooperatives, Diet and Health, Food Retailing, Food Standards, Government, Health, Healthcare Retail Standard, Healthy Living, Labelling, Legislation, Loyalty Schemes, Policy, Retail Policy, Retailers, Retailing, Scotland, Scottish Government, Social Inequality, Uncategorized, University of Stirling | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment