Media Commentary 2021

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


What’s next for retail: should retailers like Kohl’s and Macy’s break themselves up? CNN Business, 7 December (and republished by over 40 other outlets)

Price rises and shortages in UK retailing, Discussion on BBC Radio Scotland, 5th December

Over a third of UK adults experienced goods shortages in the last two weeks, iNews, 4th December


Christmas markets are back, discussion on Good Morning Scotland, BBC Radio Scotland, 19th November, c0815

Spend time locally with the gift that keeps on giving, Herald, 18th November Spend time locally with the gift that keeps on giving – The HeraldDownload


Scotland’s retail sales in September – commentary on BBC Radio Scotland, Good Morning Scotland, 20th October

Tesco no tills store opens – commentary on BBC Radio Scotland, Drivetime, 19th October,

Argos catalogies and social history – segment in Dom Delivers, BBC One 18th October, BBC Two 19th October

Business as usual – at long last. Report on the Scottish Grocers Federation Annual Conference, including presentation by Leigh Sparks, Glasgow, Scottish Local Retailer, 1st October. (Details of presentation and speech available here).


Retail Supply Chains Resilience in Brexit and Covid – discussion on BBC Radio Scotland, 26th Sept

The Flexspace Revolution: adding value to real estate portfolios in the era of hybrid work, Bloomberg, 19th Sept

How home working is impacting on Scots and our towns and cities, The Scotsman/Scotland on Sunday, 19th Sept

National and independent businesses unite to pour £13m into Scottish towns, Scottish Business News, 15th Sept.

Stores told to try something new to entice shoppers back to the high street, Sunday Post, 12th Sept

The new life for ex-department stores, from Johnnie Walker Experience to smaller towns, BBC Scotland TV News, 2nd Sept (6.30pm and The Nine)


Five years on from the closure of BHS – department store reuse and futures, BBC Radio Scotland (Lunchtime Live, 1315), 26th August;

High street strategy: recovery will take more than street parties and more bins, The Conversation, 3rd August (reblogged in Business Reporter, 9th September)


This should be a turning point for our town centres, Herald, 25th June (Agenda column)This should be a turning point for our town centres – The HeraldDownload

The opening of the St James Quarter in Edinburgh: BBC News, (Edinburgh St James Quarter Shopping Centre Opens) 24th June; BBC Radio Scotland (Good Morning Scotland, 0650 AM), 24th June;

The Times, 26th June; St James centre Sunday TimesDownload

Daily Record, 26th June;Winner takes the mall Leigh Sparks- Daily RecordDownload

Harnessing the digital world to protect our businesses, Scotland on Sunday, 13th June


Shops hoping for just another Manic Monday as lockdown relaxes again, Sunday Post, 25th April

Top retail academic says John Lewis bosses will aim to get best possible deal they can to stay in Aberdeen, Press and Journal, 6th April


Where will Covid leave our towns – and the Co-ops that operate in them? Co-op News, March 31st

Retail expert says bosses will regret their decision, comment on the closure of John Lewis in Aberdeen, Press and Journal, 25th March


Scottish National Investment Bank should fund revival of Covid ravaged high streets, Herald, 11th February

Five year ban on out of town developments could save Scotland’s high streets – report and piece on Town Centre Action plan recommendations, Herald, 7th February Five year ban on out of town development could save Scotland’s high streets – The HeraldDownload

The publication of the Town Centre Action Plan Review (Chair: Leigh Sparks) is covered in a range of places:

Scotsman, The Times, Edinburgh Evening News, Press and Journal, The Herald, Sunday Post, The Courier, Evening Express, Evening Telegraph, Daily Business all 3rd February, Scottish Construction Now, 4th February

and a commentary piece in the Times (the Thunderer), 3rd February

I also appeared on ITV Borders, Representing Border, ITV News, 3rd February


Losing iconic name is a massive blow to iconic city street, Daily Record, 26th January

Is Jenners’ closure the end of Princes Street’s last department store or a warning shot? Scotsman, 25th January