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.

Traditions and Ghosts in Scotland’s Shops

Anyone following my twitter feed (@sparks_stirling) will have encountered my fascination and interest in ghost signs. It has also been included in some musings from me and a guest contribution to this blog.  I had a previous tendency to focus … Continue reading

Posted in Advertising, Architecture, Buildings, Edinburgh, Fife, Ghost Signs, Heritage, Historic Shops, History, Places, Retail History, Royal Mile, Scotland's Town and High Streets, Shopfronts, Streetscapes, Urban History | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Big Show (Y Sioe Fawr)

A few weeks ago I attended the Royal Welsh Show (Y Sioe Fawr) at Llanelwedd/Builth Wells.  For a number of years I have been to the Royal Highland Show at Ingliston and have always thought it to be a large … Continue reading

Posted in Farmers Markets, Festivals, Food and Beverage, Food Quality, Food Retailing, Markets, Producers, Rates, Retail Economy, Retailers, Rural, Sustainability, Tax | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Embracing Failure in the Shadow of Success

This post’s title is the sub-title from a book I recently read.  It concerns Mick Channon Jnr and his relationship with his father, who he describes as “an arthritic workaholic grumpy old bastard” and only grudgingly as an ex England … Continue reading

Posted in Academics, Bookmakers, Charity Shops, Closure, Consumer Lifestyle, Discounters, Heritage, High Streets, Local Retailers, Markets, Places, Planning, Pound Shops, Property, Regeneration, Retail Economy, Shopfronts, Social Inequality, Social Justice, Store Closures, Town Centres, Towns | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dublin’s Fair City

Every two years the conference of the European Association for Education and Research in Commercial Distribution (EAERCD) comes around.  Now in its 19th incarnation, this academic conference attracts retail scholars from across the globe to present and discuss their latest … Continue reading

Posted in Advertising, Architecture, Art Deco, Buildings, Burtons, Convenience stores, Corporate History, Dublin, EAERCD, Ghost Signs, Heritage, Historic Shops, History, Markets, Retail History, Shopfronts, Spar, Tobacco, Urban History | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Understanding Welsh Places

Since the development of Understanding Scottish Places (USP) there has been a lot of interest in both the development itself and its potential to be replicated in other countries.  At events in Scotland and when STP and others have presented … Continue reading

Posted in Academics, Carnegie UK Trust, CLES, Data, Local Authorities, Places, Planning, Relationships, Scotland's Town and High Streets, Scotland's Towns Partnership, Scottish Government, Small Towns, Town Centre Action Plan, Town Centre Review, Town Centres, Towns, Towns Typology, Understanding Scottish Places, Understanding Welsh Places, University of Stirling, Wales | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Scottish Diet and Retail Shops

The Scottish diet has become a short-hand for unhealthy living.  All the evidence points to its stubborn lack of change despite information, exhortation and even small measures of legislation.  Whilst retailers and manufacturers have taken some actions on reformulation of … Continue reading

Posted in Academics, Advertising, Availability, Behavioural Economics, Brands, Consumer Choice, Consumer Lifestyle, Diet and Health, Discounts, Food Retailing, Food Standards, Healthcare Retail Standard, Labelling, Marketing, Merchandising, Policy, Pricing, Research, Retail Policy, Retailers, Scotland, Scotland Food and Drink, Scottish Retailing, Small Shops, Space, Sugar Tax, Supermarket, Suppliers, Tax, Unit Pricing, University of Stirling | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Lost Broch of Stirling

I am not sure what it says about me, but I have been seduced into some small crowdfunding projects over the last few years.  The subjects have been food, drink, rugby and history, so maybe I do know how and … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Brochs, Buildings, Crowdfunding, Experiential, Heritage, History, Incredible Edible, Retail Change, Sexism, Social media, Stirling, University of Stirling, Urban, Urban History | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment