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Professor of Retail Studies and Deputy Principal, University of Stirling

I am Professor of Retail Studies and Deputy Principal at the University of Stirling. I was a geography undergraduate at the University of Cambridge, and completed my Ph.D (on retail employment) at the University of Wales.

I have been professor of retail studies at Stirling since 1992. I was a Visiting Professor at Florida State University, Tallahassee from July 2000 to July 2001, and Visiting Professor at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville from June to December 2006.

I undertake research into aspects of retailing, mainly for personal curiosity, but also on behalf of public and private clients and for the research councils and other funding bodies, as well as for major retailers. I have authored and edited a number of books, have published over 125 refereed journal articles as well as many practitioner, trade and newspaper pieces.

In 2012-2013 I was a member of the External Advisory Group for the Scottish Government’s National Review of Town Centres and also on the Expert Advisory Group reporting to the Scottish Government on the lessons to be learned from the horsemeat scandal.

My recent policy work has been as the Chair (and Author) of the Review of the Town Centre Action Plan (2020-21) for the Scottish Government (review published as A New Future for Scotland’s Town Centres). I was also a member of the Scottish Government’s 2020-21 Social Renewal Advisory Board (report published as If Not Now, When?) and was a member and workstream leader of the Scottish Government’s 2020-21 Ministerial Retail Strategy Steering Group (published as Getting the Right Change – a Retail Strategy for Scotland). I was also a member of the Economic Impact and Price Expert Advisory Group on Minimum Unit Pricing of Alcohol for Public Health Scotland (2018-2023)

I am currently a Steering Board member of the Scottish Grocers Federation’s “Go Local” project (with Scotland Food & Drink, the Scottish Government and Public Health Scotland). I am one (of three) University of Stirling members on the Stirling and Clackmannanshire City Region Deal Joint Committee and a member of the High Streets Task Force Professional, Research and Data Group.

I am currently Chair of the Scotland’s Towns Partnership.

I run a blog on things retail, typically Scottish:


  • –present
    Professor of Retail Studies, University of Stirling


  • 1986 
    PhD, University of Wales
  • 1979 
    MA, University of Cambridge