Media Commentary 2018

This page provides a listing of, and links to, some of the media commentary produced by Leigh Sparks on various retail related topics.

December 2018

Changing way we spend our money brings challenges for the high street, Edinburgh Evening news, 27th December

Troubled high street places faith in Boxing Day boost, Scotsman, 26th December

Special Report: Remembering Woolies, BBC Radio Scotland Good Morning Scotland, 23rd December

Stores see sales surge on Super Saturday but is it enough to save their Christmas? Sunday Post, 23rd December

Plastic bag tax sees decline in donations to charities, Scotsman, 20th December

The changing face of the high street, Sunday Post, 17th December

Storm Deirdre wreaks havoc across the country, Scotsman, Daily Record and Sunday Mail – comments on shopping and the weather by Leigh Sparks, 16th December.

November 2018

£11.97: the real cost of the National Living Wage, Scottish Local Retailer, 30th November – report on recent study by Leigh Sparks and Maria Rybaczewska

Ocean terminal gets facelift – Edinburgh Evening News, 16th November

October 2018

Scottish store fears as Debenhams wields the axe – Scotsman, 26th October

Debenhams to cut 50 stores – interview with Leigh Sparks on BBC Radio Cumbria, 26th October

Debenhams to cut 50 stores – interview with Leigh Sparks on BBC Radio Scotland, Good Morning Scotland, 25th October

Sports Direct buy House of Fraser Glasgow – interview with Leigh Sparks on BBC Radio Scotland Newsdrive, 12th October

September 2018

Tesco unveils budget chain to challenge Alsi and Lidl, Scotsman, 20th September

August 2018

Homebase closures – interview with Leigh Sparks, STV News, 14th August

£90m House of Fraser sale fails to calm staff fears – comment by Leigh Sparks, Scotsman, 11th August.

Mike Ashley’s House of Fraser bailout could help reinvent Jenners – comment by Leigh Sparks, Edinburgh Evening News, 11th August

Ashley scoops House of Fraser – comment by Leigh Sparks, The Times, 11th August.

The Last Days of Poundworld by Simon Usborne – includes comments by Leigh Sparks, The Guardian, 7th August.

July 2018

Crunch point for Scots retail sector over empty stores – comments by Leigh Sparks, The National, 19th July.

With 75 businesses closed on Sauchiehall Street, retail experts says there is a future for iconic stretch – comments by Leigh Sparks, Glasgow Evening Times, 2nd July, also in the Scottish Sun

Retail and Obesity – column by Leigh Sparks, Scottish Grocer and Convenience Retailer, 1st July

June 2018

More woes for the high street as Debenhams issues profit warning – comments by Leigh Sparks on the Debenhams profit warning, Herald, 20th June

Shopping hack saves you hundreds of pounds on Littlewoods and Boohoo – comments from Leigh Sparks on online retailing and eBay, Mail Online, 19th June.

500 Scottish jobs under threat as Poundworld calls in administrators – comments by Leigh Sparks, Scotsman, 12th June

House of Fraser closures – comments from Leigh Sparks in The Scotsman and The Herald and by Steve Burt on BBC Reporting Scotland and BBC Radio Scotland Newsdrive.

Shift focus from retail to ensure success – commentary piece in Scotland’s Towns Partnership Towns Supplement in The Herald, 3rd June.

May 2018

Bru better watch out as bottles go pop- comments  by Leigh Sparks on the recall of Irn-Bru, Sunday Post, 27th May, p6

M&S Stores Axe is long overdue – comments b y Steve Burt on the announcement of  more M&S closures including Falkirk and East Kilbride, Daily Record, 24 May, p15, Also on BBC Radio Scotland, Good Morning Scotland, 23rd May.

Departing stores, fears for high street institutions as shoppers turn to smaller, cheaper and online rivals – comments by Leigh Sparks, Sunday Post, 14th May

Shop closures “set to double” – comments by Leigh Sparks, The Times, 8th May

House of Fraser to close stores – discussion on Radio Scotland Good Morning Scotland with Leigh Sparks, 3rd May.

April 2018

Interview with Leigh Sparks on BBC Radio Scotland Bryan Burnett Show on the merger between Asda and Sainsbury’s, 30th April

Interview with Leigh Sparks on STV News on vacant shops and high streets, 11th April

High street in crisis as five shops go to the wall every week, comments by Leigh Sparks on Local Data Company and PwC report, Herald, 11th April

Insight: is in-store shopping past its sell by date in Scotland? Insight piece by @janekbradley including comments from Leigh Sparks, Scotland on Sunday, 8th April

March 2018

Just in time – interview with Leigh Sparks on Good Morning Scotland, 10th March following the “Beast from the East” and the impact on retail supply chains.

February 2018

Independent retailers and town centres – interview with Leigh Sparks on BBC Radio Cumbria, breakfast programme, 13th February

What locational factors drive independent businesses to prosper? Comments by Leigh Sparks, Speciality Food Magazine, 2nd February – pdf here.

January 2018

Vacancy rates in Scottish town centres rise but independent retailers cling on – comments on the LDC/University of Stirling Scottish Retail Report (November 2017), Scotsman , 25th January.

Amazon Go is a fist aimed at the convenience store industry – comments by Leigh Sparks, Axios, January 24th

Till-less shops will not replace traditional supermarkets any time soon – comments from Leigh Sparks, The Herald, 24th January

Changing retail landscape, retail job cuts and Amazon Go – interview with Leigh Sparks on BBC Radio Scotland, Good Morning Scotland, 24th January

Shop vacancy rates in Scottish town centres rises, comments from report by Leigh Sparks and Lorraine Ferguson (with the Local Data Company), Scotsman, 19th January.

Online sales drive next festive cheer – comment by Leigh Sparks on next Christmas sales, Scotsman, 3rd January

Argos Catalogues and buying habits, interview with Leigh Sparks on BBC Radio Scotland, Kaye Adams programme, 3rd January

Professor’s collection catalogues changes in buying habits, Scotsman and the i, 3rd January – pieces on the Argos collection. Also Leader Comment in the Scotsman – Argos catalogues make a fascinating historical archive.