Media Commentary 2015

This page provides a listing of, and links to, some of the media commentary produced by members of the Institute for Retail Studies on various retail related topics.

December 2015

Breathing new life into high streets – interview with Leigh Sparks, BBC Radio Scotland, 28th December

Online sales hit 20% of all festive shopping – comment by Leigh Sparks, Scotsman, 26th December

Music in Shops – discussion with Leigh Sparks, BBC Radio Somerset, 22nd December

Discussion on the Kaye Adams programme on Radio Scotland by Leigh Sparks on the rise of coffee shops and the impact on the high street, 21st December

Oil industry decline main cause  of falling retail sales – comment by Leigh Sparks in The Herald, 20th December

Impact of Christmas shutdown on business – discussion between Leigh Sparks and Bill Jamieson on BBC Radio Scotland, Good Morning Scotland, 20th December

Lowest shopper numbers in Scotland’s High Streets for nearly three years- discussion on BBC Radio Scotland Newsdrive programme with Leigh Sparks, 14th December

Charity shops and nail bars take over the high street – report on Local Data Company and University of Stirling Retailing in Scotland’s towns and cities report, Scotsman, 1st December

November 2015

Black Friday: Britain ready for sales frenzy with billions spent on bargains, – comments by Leigh Sparks, Sunday Post, 24th November

Asda skips Black Friday due to “shopper fatigue” – comments by Leigh Sparks in the Scotsman, 11th November

Asda tries to slay the Black Friday monster – interview with Leigh Sparks, BBC Radio Scotland, Good Morning Scotland, 11th November.

Interviews with Leigh Sparks as part of the Channel 4 Dispatches programme on Aldi, Channel 4, 9th November, 8pm

October 2015

Discount chains move in to Cumbria – interview/discussion with Leigh Sparks on BBC Radio Cumbria, 28th October

September 2015

Christmas in August – discussion with Christine Grahame MSP and Leigh Sparks, BBC Radio Scotland, 4th September.

August 2015

Christmas in August – that’s just crackers! – comment by Leigh Sparks, Sunday Post, 30th August.

£30m a year spent in Scots coffee shops – comments by Leigh Sparks, Scotsman, 25th August and comments on BBC Radio Scotland, Good Morning Scotland, 26th August.

Call for Government action at all levels after another rise in empty shops on the high street – comment by Leigh Sparks The National, 18th August

Fast table service for McDonald’s customers – comment by Leigh Sparks on table service in McDonald’s, Scotsman, 7th August.

Supermarket psychology – discussion by Leigh Sparks on BBC Radio Shropshire, 3rd August.

July 2015

Sunday Herald – Hidden History Can Breathe Life Into Town – column by Leigh Sparks on Paisley cultural assets as part of the Supplement on Paisley, Sunday Herald, 26th July.

June 2015

Rage against the machine: the trouble with self-service, Management Today, 29 June 2015. Comments by Leigh Sparks on self service automation in retail settings.

May 2015

Scotland’s Towns Partnership and the Health of High Streets – interview with Leigh Sparks on CBC Nova Scotia, 8th May. The audio recording can be found on the STP website here.

Supermarket prices at lowest since 2006 – comment by Leigh Sparks, Scotsman, 7th May

Technology in banking and retailing? Leigh Sparks guest on Call Kaye phone-in on BBC Radio Scotland, 4th May

April 2015

Understanding Scottish Places launch – covered in Urban Realm – Online, Pan European Networks: Science & Technology, New Start – Online, PublicTechnology.net, 29th April, Scottish Construction Now, May 6th

Return of the high street? Small shops could reap the benefit of Tesco’s troubles, comment by Leigh Sparks, Sunday Post, 26th April

A whopping loss, but don;t write Tesco off just yet – reproduction of piece by Leigh Sparks in The Conversation, The Journal, 24th April.

Tesco posts worst annual results in 97 year history – comment by Leigh Sparks, Scotsman, 23rd April

Discussion by Leigh Sparks on Good Morning Scotland, Radio Scotland on Tesco Results and Record Loss, 22nd April

Starbucks open Edinburgh Airport alcohol cafe – comments by Leigh Sparks, Scotsman, 22nd April

St Andrews to slash The Open food and drink prices – comment by Leigh Sparks on eating and drinking at this year’s Open, Scotsman, 21st April.

Discounters rule as more Scots pick Aldi and Lidl – comment by Leigh Sparks in the continuing rise of Aldi and Lidl, Scotland on Sunday, 19th April (also picked up and repeated in as (a) Lidl and Aldi the Big Two as Scots shun the Big Four, Scottish Daily Mail, 20th April (b) Scots trade Big 4 for Aldi and Lidl, Metro, 20th April (c) Lidl goes a long way, Scottish Sun, 20th April, (d) Discount supermarkets bag their biggest share, Herald, 20th April (e) Scots spend more at Aldi and Lidl than elsewhere in the UK European Supermarket Magazine 20th April)

Discussion by Leigh Sparks on Good Morning Scotland, Radio Scotland on Town Centres, 18th April

How middle classes are flocking to pound stores – comment by Leigh Sparks on the rise of “bargain” shops, Scotsman, 14th April

Putting a price on c-stores – report on presentation by Leigh Sparks, Scottish Grocer and Convenience Retailer, April.

Discussion by Leigh Sparks on BBC Radio Wiltshire on the changes in the DIY market and B&Q closures, 2nd April

Discussion by Leigh Sparks on BBC Radio 5 Live Waking up to Money Business Programme on the changes in the DIY market and B&Q closures, 1st April

March 2015

B&Q to close 60 stores, including one in Dundee – discussion by Leigh Sparks on BBC Radio Scotland, Newsdrive, 31st March

Waitrose shelves plans for Costorphine store – comment by Leigh Sparks on Waitrose moves in Edinburgh, Edinburgh Evening News, 21st March

Discussion by Steve Burt on the John Beattie show, Radio Scotland on the topic of  “Shrinkflation”, 17th March

Discussion by Leigh Sparks on Good Morning Scotland, Radio Scotland on Morrisons results, 12th March

Interview with Phil Prentice, Chief Officer STP – comment by STP Chair, Leigh Sparks, Holyrood Magazine, 3rd March.

February 2015

Waitrose named top supermarket by shoppers, comment by Leigh Sparks, Scotsman, 18th February

January 2015

End of tramworks brings increase in shoppers, Comment and analysis by Leigh Sparks, Edinburgh Evening News, 21st January

Discussion by Leigh Sparks on the John Beattie show, Radio Scotland on the topic of the announcement by Tesco today, 8th January

Empty shop gap narrows – note on Local Data Company/University of Stirling report on Scottish retailing, Scottish Grocer and Convenience Retailer, 6th January

Scots food bills amongst lowest in Europe – comment by Leigh Sparks on food prices and inflation, Scotsman, 5th January

Monty the Penguin clicks with John Lewis shoppers – comment by Leigh Sparks on John Lewis online sales, Scotsman, 5th January

Our Story: Mobile shops have a long history – discussion of the history of mobile shops by Anne Findlay, BBC Radio Scotland, 4th January

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