This page contains details of some of the recent journal article publications by members of the Institute for Retail Studies. Pre-print versions of these articles are available online from the University of Stirling’s Depository (STORRE) in most cases, or contact the author or Leigh Sparks directly.
Findlay A., Jackson M., McInroy N., Prentice P., Robertson E. and L. Sparks (2018) Putting Towns on the Policy Map: Understanding Scottish Places (USP). Scottish Affairs, 27, 3, 294-318. DOI: 10.3366/scot.2018.0245. www.euppublishing.com/toc/scot/27/3
Studies of places have been dichotomised as rural or urban. Towns, however, are neither rural nor urban. Towns have been neglected in research and policy agendas. In England the recent focus has been on high streets whereas in Scotland it has been on places and towns. Understanding Scottish Places (USP) is a web based platform that has become a key tool for evidence gathering, town comparison, knowledge exchange, regeneration planning and informed decision making for Scottish towns. USP is novel and contemporary and is engaging new ways of looking at, and planning in, and for, towns. This paper places USP in its research context and considers its development and use.
Anne Findlay and Leigh Sparks (2018) Farm Shops – time to close the stable door? Town and Country Planning, 87, 5/6, 204-206
In 2012 we attempted to take over from Professor Cliff Guy who had provided Trading Places columns for 12 years. In the subsequent 6 years we have produced 23 columns, but now feel it is time to hand over to others. Pressures of work and outside interests together with our feeling that fresh voices are always welcome has led to this decision. In discussing our leaving we suggested preparing a reflective piece on the themes and issues we have selected to discuss over the period and to consider what this means for, or says about retail change and planning. Our columns have focused on a range of issues around this broad theme of change and on the implications of these for planning. We have identified four themes across these columns: change and competition, retail space, town centres and towns, and social impact.
Burt S.L., Coe N.M., and Davies B.K. (2018) A tactical retreat? Conceptualising the dynamics of European grocery retail divestment from East Asia, International business Review, in press, 10.1016/j.ibusrev.2018.05.010
The internationalisation of the firm is a highly dynamic process, in which periods of investment and expansion intermingle with periods of divestment and retrenchment. There few longitudinal studies of international divestment, consequently the dynamic interactions between host market, home market and firm level factors, and how the institutional context changes over time is underplayed. This paper explores the rationale and evolving dynamics of European grocery retail divestment in East Asia over a thirty year period. Taking an inductive approach and drawing on analysis of contemporary narratives drawn from company documentation, trade journals, newsfeeds and market reports, three phases can be identified characterised by specific factors and combinations of factors which intersect to provide the key pressures and stimuli for divestment. We conclude that at different time periods, different internal and external contextual influences manifest themselves through different priorities within the firm’s strategy – marked by a switch from local (host) market, to regional, to global firm-centric considerations.
Anne Findlay and Leigh Sparks (2018) Farm Shops – time to close the stable door? Town and Country Planning, 87, 1, 7-10
Farm shops are a form of agricultural diversification and are considered to bring significant benefits to rural communities in terms of locally generated income and employment. The market in the UK is thought to be worth at least £1.5bn. They are an agricultural planning issue and retail planning considerations are not seen as relevant. There must though come a point where retail planning is more appropriate than agricultural planning. Planning in respect of farm shops is currently inherently weak, with sketchy definitions and varied interpretation. A manageable definition is a starting point to allow farm shops to continue to shape the identity and benefits for producers and the rural economy. Where larger retail spaces are involved then there is a case for retail planning to be used.
David Marshall, John Dawson and Laura Nisbet (2018) Food access in remote rural places: consumer accounts of food shopping, Regional Studies, 52, 1, 133-144.
Food access in remote rural places: consumer accounts of food shopping. Regional Studies. In remote rural and island communities access to food involves adaption of living style and travel outside the local area as a normal and integral part of food shopping. Despite the poor retail assortment, consumers have a strong allegiance to local food stores centred on a desire to maintain a local retail presence and to support the community. Deeper understanding of consumer access to food and adaptations to constrained access have implications for food policy for these remote areas and public policy on remote regions more generally. Results are reported for remote island communities in Scotland. https://doi.org/10.1080/00343404.2016.1275539