Journal Articles 2014

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.

Anne Findlay and Leigh Sparks (2014) (1) High streets and town centres policy and (2) Secondary retail during economic crisis and austerity, Chapters in Wrigley N and E Brookes (2014) Evolving High Streets: Resilience and Reinvention, ESRC/University of Southampton. Available for free download here.

The ESRC has had an interest in retailing for a couple of years and in particular on aspects of retail change and the high street.  A number of social science scholars have been involved in a variety of projects. In this short collected volume various think pieces and knowledge leadership pieces are brought together on the topic of Evolving High Streets: Resilience and Reinvention. Two of the pieces are by Anne Findlay and Leigh Sparks, covering their work on planing policy and retailing in secondary centres.

Anne Findlay and Leigh Sparks (2014) It used to be so simple… Town and Country Planning, Vol. 83 Iss: 10, pp 414-6

In their latest Trading Places column, Anne Findlay and Leigh Sparks reflect on the changing nature of retailing and land-use planning for retailing. They argue that neither business nor planners have the answers to place development. We need to capture the excitement, vibrancy and localism that is beginning to emerge, concentrating space and opening up vacant space for commercial and social uses.   (See Trading Places section of this blog)

Karine Picot-Coupey, Steve Burt and Gerard Cliquet (2014) Retailers’ expansion mode choice in foreign markets: antecedents for expansion mode choice in the light of internationalization theories. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, 21, 6, 976-991. DOI: 10.1016/j.jretconser.2014.08.018

The objectives of this research are (1) to investigate the paths of entry and subsequent expansion modes pursued by retailers in international markets and (2) to develop and test a model of expansion mode antecedents in the light of generic business internationalization theories. This is achieved on the basis of data collected from 43 French fashion retailers and a PLS-SEM approach. Results show that (1) retailers clearly differentiate between entry and expansion modes; (2) the international marketing plan, the perceived attractiveness of the foreign market, and strategic and ownership conditions are the key antecedents for the choice of an expansion mode. After comparing the results with the explanations proposed by the generic internationalization theories, a multi-theoretical framework is proposed which draws from the Uppsala internationalization process model, network theory and the born-global theory. The findings provide a wealth of information for retailers׳ use in choosing appropriate foreign operation modes.

Anne Findlay and Leigh Sparks (2014) Unlucky No. 13? Town and Country Planning, Vol. 83 Iss: 8, pp 308-311

In their latest Trading Places column, Anne Findlay and Leigh Sparks look at the hot issue of planning and betting shops and their increasing presence in clusters on the high street. They point to issues around planning and issues around social changes to the perception and view of gambling, as well as the changed opportunities. Should planing be used to control anti-social activities or should other interventions such as licensing be used? (See Trading Places section of this blog)

Paul Freathy and Eric Calderwood (2014) Coping with change: the implications of e-commerce adoption for island consumers, Regional Studies, DOI: 10.1080/00343404.2014.952720. Available online from 24 September 2014 at

This paper examines the implications of e-commerce for retailers on three Scottish island groups. These locations are amongst the most economically fragile regions of the UK. The extensive use of e-commerce by residents has reconfigured traditional shopping patterns. The paper argues that this pattern of spending represents a form of ‘trade leakage’ with increased monies being spent off the island. The reaction from local retailers to this threat appears limited. The paper highlights the consequences for the local economy and suggests a more proactive response is needed in order to meet the challenges posed by internet availability.

Anne Findlay and Leigh Sparks (2014) Retail Planning Policy in the United Kingdom.  Urban Planning International, Vol 29 Iss: 3, pp 15-21 (In Chinese)

This paper reviews retail planning policy in the UK, focusing on why retail planning has developed in the way that it has, the key influences on retail planning and the intentions of current policy. First, we consider the role of regulation in the UK context.Second we outline the plan making process. The third section reviews the ‘town centre first’ policy in the UK, which has been the mainstay of retail planning in recent years. A final section draws conclusions about retail planning in the UK context. The paper was written in English and then translated by Zhou Lei and published in Chinese. The English version can be downloaded here, and the Chinese version (3英国零售业规划政策评述) here.

Anne Findlay and Leigh Sparks (2014) Town centre first, second or not at all? Town and Country Planning, Vol. 83 Iss: 4, pp 158-160

In their latest Trading Places column, Anne Findlay and Leigh Sparks look at some recent work that has challenged the notion of town centre first. This work argues mainly from a productivity perspective that the current policy (and plans to tighten it) are hindering economic and productivity growth. They raise the question over what should be valued about places and towns and how we want o live our lives .(See Trading Places section of this blog)

Eric Calderwood and Paul Freathy (2014) “Consumer mobility in the Scottish Isles: the impact of internet adoption on retail travel patterns” Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice,  59, pp 192-203.

While there have been numerous studies of on-line shopping behaviour, the impact of internet adoption upon island communities remains largely unexplored.  This research study examines the extent to which on-line provision has reconfigured the mobility patterns of residents in the Scottish isles and whether e-commerce has reduced the propensity of individuals to undertake shopping related travel. The findings suggest that e-commerce has had only a modest impact upon consumer travel patterns and that other situational factors moderate the identified benefits that accrue from purchasing on-line.

Anne Findlay and Leigh Sparks (2014) A nation of (some vague number of) shopkeepers. Town and Country Planning, Vol. 83 Iss: 1, pp 6-9

In their latest Trading Places column, Anne Findlay and Leigh Sparks argue that it is quite something when we have so much difficulty in defining and counting the number of shops we have in the UK and in specific places. They note that we are currently transfixed by retail vacancy as a barometer of high street welfare, but that vacancy depends on what is defined as retail stock as well as what is defined as vacant property. Good clear consistent definitions allowing comparability are essential. (See Trading Places section of this blog)

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