Media Commentary 2020

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


Stark “use it or lose it” warning for Scotland’s high streets, Scotsman, 24th December

Christmas Trading and look forward to 2021, STV News, 23rd December

Year ahead: What is the future for Scotland’s high streets, The Scotsman, 17th December and follow up 26th December

Interview on BBC Radio London, Vanessa Feltz programme on the issues of Brexit, supply chains and food stockpiling, 14th December (also on BBC Radio Scotland)


Small clip of interview with Leigh Sparks as part of package on online fulfilment for Christmas and the fall of Arcadia, BBC Scotland TV News, 30th November

Small clip of interview with Leigh Sparks on the fall of Arcadia, STV TV News, 30th November

Arcadia, interview for Good Morning Scotland, BBC Radio Scotland, 30th November

Luxury goods and high end food to dominate Christmas as locked-down revellers treat themselves, Scotsman, 22nd November

Scotland’s qualification for Euros “could boost support for independence” – contains comments from Leigh Sparks on the retail impact of qualificiation, The National, 15th November

Shop Local in Scotland this Christmas, Scotsman, 4th November

Independent businesses in Britain are coping with Covid better than bug chains, data show, Financial Times, 4th November

Shoppers throng to retail parks for final fling as Tier Three restrictions come into force, Scotsman, 2nd November


Will Scottish department stores experience a post-lockdown revival? The Scotsman, 18th October

How Walmart’s UK invasion fizzled out, some comments from Leigh Sparks, Financial Times, 5th October

Town Centres and Retailing, interview with Leigh Sparks as part of Douglas Fraser’s special report on the impact of Covid on pubs, towns and retail, BBC Radio Scotland, 4th October, 0930-1000


Commenting on the threat of retail closures due to the pandemic, interview with Leigh Sparks, Good Morning Scotland, BBC Scotland, 28th September

Retail Winter, Magazine article looking at retailing and the impact of the pandemic, includes comments from interview with Leigh Sparks HK01 (in Chinese) 25th September

Tesco warning: cutting costs and prices leaves supply chain vulnerable to panic buying, Daily Express, 22nd September (reuses material from BBC documentary from June including inteview with Leigh Sparks)


Scottish shoppers promise to spend in local stores, Herald, 29th August

Graham’s Dairy breaks Irn Bru grip as Scotland’s top brand, The Times, 28th August

Online returns rocket as buyers regret lockdown purchases, Scotsman (24th August, updated 25th August)

Coverage of launch of public survey on the future of town centres – Herald (14th August), Scottish Housing News (13th August)

Widespread broadcast coverage of commentary on the news that Argos will no longer publish its catalogue, including

ITV This Morning – interview about Argos Catalogues (discussing the demise of the Argos catalogue and its importance as a record of social and retail history) with Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langford, 6th August (see also Ideal Home and Metro)

The Times (The Times – It’s social history says professor who has every Argos catalogue since 1973, 1st August), BBC Breakfast television news review (1st August), Sunday Post (2nd August), Times Radio (1st August), BBC Radio Sheffield (7th August), Prospect magazine – Farewell to the Argos catalogue, the book of dreams that democratised playtime (14th August)


Daily Mail – Covid’s killed the Argos book of dreams, comments in article by Harry Wallop on Argos’ decision to end printing its catalogue, Daily Mail, 30th July. Also picked up and interviewed on BBC Radio 5 live (30th July), BBC Radio West Midlands (30th July) and BBC Breakfast television (31st July), BBC News 24, BBC Scotland (31st July), BBC Radio Ulster (31st July).

Now is the time to support local businesses to ensure they have vibrant future, Guest column in The Herald, 19th July as part of the launch of Scotland Loves Local campaign.

The opening of enclosed shopping centres in Scotland and consumer confidence, interview with Leigh Sparks, BBC Scotland TV News, 13th July

Why the Higgins Report falls short of what Scotland really needs – comment piece by Les Huckfield mentioning Leigh Sparks and sustainable retailing, The National, 10th July.

Expert Group on Town Centre Action Plan Review, Interview with Chair, Leigh Sparks, Good Morning Scotland, BBC Radio Scotland, July 2nd (see also The National, Aberdeen Evening Express, and Press and Journal; Evening Times; Sunday Post; Evening Telegraph; Evening Express; The Courier; Stirling News)


Crowds queue for retail return as scotsman backs local shops, Scotsman, 30th June (plus Edinburgh Evening News)

How will things change once lockdown is lifted? The National, 28th June

Supermarket Wars: battle of the high street, Channel 5 TV, 21st June (and repeated)

A shop to the system, Daily Record, 19th June

Lockdown puts future of highstreet online, Daily Record, 18th June

Most dangerous part of the supermarket, Daily Mirror, 18th June, also in The Irish Mirror and The Stars Post, item arising from the BB2 TV programme Keeping Britain Fed

Keeping Britain Fed, BBC2, short clip of Leigh Sparks discussing retail supply chains, 17th June

Coronavirus has shown us a solution to the food climate crisis,, 15th June

Save our Shops, comments by Leigh Sparks, Mail on Sunday, 14th June

Death knell for traditional beauty counters as shoppers raise hygiene fears, comments by Leigh Sparks included in Scotsman, 10th June

What should we value abut retailing and towns and what should we do about them. Reblog of a post on this blog in SLR: Scottish Local Retailer, 10th June

Taking Stock: why food retail in a new economy must cater for all, Article by Leigh Sparks in Cooperative News 6th June


Food security: do we need to rethink ourjust in time supply chain post coronavirus, The Grocer, 14th May

Retail is broken -how do we fix it? Scottish Local Retailer, The Week in Retail, Digital Edition, 6th May

The huge changes we can expect in post lockdown shopping, Scotland on Sunday, 3rd May, together with an Analysis piece on “From maximising dwell time to minimising contact “From maximising dwell time to minimising contact_

Retail Behomoth: are we witnessing the birth of a savage new business age?, News Analaysis by Common Weal, 1st May, includes a 20+ minute podcast discussion with Leigh Sparks on the impact of the COVID19 virus on the retailing and its future shape


Can Scotland return to business as usual post-lockdown? The Scotsman, April 26th

Discussion of the future of retail after the virus, Good Morning Scotland, BBC Radio Scotland, April 11th

Thousands of jobs on line as retail giant goes to wall, Edinburgh Evening News, 10th April

Debenhams teeters on bring of administration for the second time, Scotsman, 7th April


How the Uk’s just-in-time delivery model crumbled under coronavirus,, 30th March

Coronavirus could kill off Scottish high street as people self-isolate, comments in the Scottish Daily Record, 18th March

Retailing and the Coronavirus, intefview on BBC Good Morning Scotland, 16th March


We could have a Bute of a high street too, comments on the GB High Street Award, Sunday Mail, 2nd February


Inside Asda: Bigger, Better,Cheaper? – contains interview on Asda history, Channel 5. 6th January. Trailer here. Full programme here.

UK Retail Tumble – online interview on factors in the changing retail situation in the UK, Economic Divide on PressTV – video here. 9th January

Discussion on BBC Radio 4 You and Yours programme on retail job losses and retail change, 27th January