John Pal

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Position: Senior Lecturer in Retailing
Academic unit: Management Sciences and Marketing


A town planner by education, a retailer by profession and an academic by accident, I started in retailing as a warehouseman sweeping the floors at Marks & Spencer in Leeds. My early management career was spent with C & A as a merchandiser working in Newcastle, Glasgow, Liverpool and Reading before joining Goldberg's (which counted Ted Baker and Schuh in its stable of brands) as a store manager, latterly in Blackpool.

Prior to joining AMBS in 2011 I taught on courses for Sainsbury's, B & Q, Tesco and the Co-operative. My academic teaching and publications reflects, and is built on, my first hand retail experience and interest in retail location. I try to make my teaching sessions interactive, and have developed vignettes and scenarios to mimic elements of a (retail) manager's role. In August 2013 I attained Senior Fellow status of the Higher Education Academy. I have made presentations on teaching and learning techniques at my own and, by invitation at other universities, as well as at international teaching-related conferences. I am the recipient of a University of Manchester Teaching Excellence Award, 2013/14.

In addition to comment and analysis for newspapers and the trade press on retailing, I have made numerous contributions for the broadcast media including on BBC 1 Breakfast, BBC Radios 2, 4 and 5Live, Sky News and the BBC TV series 'Rip Off Britain'. You can see one of my BBC TV appearance here:

Research Interests

My research interests include corporate retail failure, retailer lobbying, retail location and general retail management.

I have co-supervised to successful completion:

Tarlok Teji's PhD: Accounting for UK Retailers' Business Success: Key Metrics for Success and Learning from Failure [2015]

Gemma Street's DBA: The Role of Curation in the Design and Development of Brand Experience in the Luxury Retail Environment [2015]

Recent Invited Presentations and Keynotes

"The incontrovertible and inconvenient truths about retail planning policy making" Royal Town Planning Institute, north west branch, 16 January 2014

“Learning from major marketing failures” Chartered Institute of Marketing, North West Institute, Manchester, 27 February 2013

“Policy and the High Street”, Institute of Historic Building Conservation Conference on Heritage and the High Street, Liverpool, 17 October 2012

"Learning from retail failure” Success in the new retailing era, Manchester Business School Retail Workshop 19 September 2012

“Retailing goes back to basics” DWF/BakerTilly, Manchester Sponsored roundtable, 15 May 2012

“The Portas Review and the Future of Retail”, After-lunch presentation to clients of Addleshaw Goddard (corporate lawyers), Manchester, 30 March 2012

Selected Media Contributions

Live studio interview on introduction of Morrisons fair price milk, BBC 1 Breakfast, 12 October 2015

Live studio interview on loyalty cards, BBC Radio 4 You & Yours, 21 May 2015

Live phone interview on Morrison’s annual results, BBC Radio 2 The Simon Mayo Drivetime Show, 12 March 2015

Live phone interview on Tesco trading update, BBC Radio 2 The Simon Mayo Drivetime Show, 8 January 2015

Live phone interview on Tesco trading update, BBC Radio 5 Live Afternoon Edition, 8 January 2015

Live studio interview on House of Lords European Union Committee on food waste, BBC 1 Breakfast, 6 April 2014

Recorded contributions for BBC1 Rip Off Britain: differential pricing at supermarkets (19 March 2014) and the OFT guidelines (24 March 2014)

Live phone interview on Christmas trading results, BBC Radio 5 Live Drivetime, 9 January 2014

Live studio interview on Christmas trading at Debenhams and John Lewis, BBC 1 Breakfast, 2 January 2014

Live phone interview on retail trading at Christmas, BBC Radio 5 Live, Wake up to Money, 23 December 2013

Live studio interview on Tesco's interim results, BBC 1 Breakfast, 4 December 2013

Live studio interview on retail food waste, BBC 1 Breakfast, 22 October 2013

Live studio interview on retail situation, BBC 1 Breakfast, 12 September 2013

Live studio interview on Sainsbury's performance, BBC 1 Breakfast, 8 May 2013

Live studio interview on retail vacancies, BBC 1 Breakfast, 19 February 2013

Live studio interview on the calling-in of administrators at HMV BBC 1 Breakfast, 15 January 2013

Live studio on Christmas trading and the sales, BBC 1 Breakfast 16 December 2012

Programme involvement

Specialist fields




Publication summary




Working papers

LCMNTitleYear published
No records to display.

Current teaching

I am the co-ordinator and unit leader of:

BMAN 31461 Retail Marketing

BMAN 70172 Retail Marketing

I also teach on general marketing courses, providing input on retailing.

Showing 46 publication(s)


  • Pal, J. (2015). Why can’t all courses be like this?. Enterprise & Lifelong Learning Teaching Conference, University of Chester, Faculty of Business, .. Publication link: 2a651265-f74c-4527-8f27-277d0ecf92bb
  • Pal, J., Hynes, J., & Goatman, A. (2015). Feeding the 500: Introducing information literacy to first year business and management undergraduate students” Newcastle University 8-10 April. In host publication.. Publication link: 4e494a96-b0e5-467f-b32e-1b67298bec49
  • Pal, J., & Featherstone, S. (2015). There’s nothing as practical as a good theory: using the Kolb cycle in developing a first year course Manchester. In host publication.. Publication link: 18140302-b35b-475e-83d8-4cd136d0992b
  • Pal, J., Gowerek, H. (Ed.), & McGoldrick, P. (Ed.) (2015). Retail location. In Retail marketing management: principles and practice. (pp. 190-215). Harlow: Pearson. . Publication link: 5d21a2a9-5c1a-4f03-be09-1b3026428c0d





  • Pal, J., Stubbs, M., & Whitton, N. (Ed.) (2010). The Retail Game. In Learning with digital games: A practical guide to engaging students in higher education. (pp. 183-187). London: Routledge. . Publication link: 96bb6a7d-c949-424a-8b60-10d72c1a63cc





  • Pal, J., & Byrom, J. (2005). More than one bite of the cherry: a study of UK grocery retailers’ attempts to influence the retail planning policy-making process. Journal of Public Affairs, 5(2), 136-149. DOI: 10.1002/pa.15. Publication link: 9b61fb2a-1623-4070-8eca-ef73fff0ee35
  • Pal, J. (2005). Key indicators in retail operations and some tools for improvement. The International Association of Department Stores: Store Operations Conference, Brussels, .. Publication link: 1c26b10f-00b5-4bcc-948c-1c0e79413e56
  • Pal, J., Hall, A., Hines, T., & Bennison, D. (2005). Merchandising decision making within UK grocery retailers: an exploratory study into shelf space allocation. In host publication.. Publication link: 09e612a6-9bfd-48be-b5af-035eb1a1b37b


  • Pal, J. (2004). Analysis of store performance KPIs for major retailers. Retail Week Conference: Maximising Store Productivity, London, .. Publication link: 206352d8-2eda-4817-b9ff-f702c70089d5



  • Pal, J., Medway, D., & Byrom, J. (2002). Analysing retail firm ‘failure’ from an historical perspective. In host publication.. Publication link: c9c83829-36ce-4acb-9589-92444284858d


  • Pal, J., Hogg, S., Medway, D., Bennison, D., & Warnaby, G. (2001). Key performance indicators in town centre management – conflicts of accountability and misrepresentation?, In host publication.. Publication link: 44e9043d-c810-4d59-9983-f5732bda8f43
  • Pal, J., Bennison, D., Clarke, I., & Byrom, J. (2001). Power, policy networks and planning: the involvement of major grocery retailers in the formulation of Planning Policy Guidance Note 6 since 1988. International Review of Retail, Consumer and Distribution Research, 11(3), 225-246. . Publication link: a78e271c-e893-4b4a-b263-cb5aa34e24f9


  • Pal, J., Bennison, D., & Clarke, I. (2000). The routes to influence: the methods used by major food retailers in shaping Planning Policy Guidance 6. In host publication.. Publication link: 620e413e-b852-476c-beb1-cb90f92f0fc9



  • Jones, P., & Pal, J. (1998). Retail services ride the waves. International Journal of Retail and Distribution Management, 26(9), 374-376. . Publication link: 520ff8c7-6133-458e-9ac9-9e63b16c854a


  • Pal, J., Bennison, D., Hart, C. (Ed.), Kirkup, M. (Ed.), Preston, D. (Ed.), Rafiq, M. (Ed.), & Walley, P. (Ed.) (1997). The operational implications of location decision making: the Belfast Co-operative. In Cases in Retailing: Operational Perspectives. (pp. 33-42). Oxford: Blackwell. . Publication link: 0b87db31-a6f1-45a3-a324-206c07998937
  • Pal, J., & Sanders, E. (1997). Measuring the effectiveness of town centre management schemes: an exploratory framework. International Journal of Retail and Distribution Management, 25(2), 70-77. . Publication link: 75f3c6dc-146a-4a2a-b08c-3fda7f2d86f7
  • Clarke, I., Bennison, D., & Pal, J. (1997). Toward a contemporary perspective of retail location. International Journal of Retail and Distribution Management, 25(2), 59-69. . Publication link: c9a2bdd3-24e5-4df9-96ea-0f7b7a1900b7



  • Bennison, D., Clarke, I., & Pal, J. (1995). Location decision making: an exploratory framework for analysis. International Review of Retail, Consumer and Distribution Research, 5(1), 1-20. . Publication link: 545c24f6-40aa-485b-b914-54ae5a74acc1


  • Tomalin, C., & Pal, J. (1994). Local authority responses to retail change: the case for town centre management. International Journal of Retail and Distribution Management, 22(6), 46-51. . Publication link: 232bb7fc-f8ac-4e38-af56-db6fbea3f7e3


  • Pal, J., Bennison, D., & Clarke, I. (1993). The locational imperative: store networks and corporate strategies in the 1990s, In host publication.. Publication link: e0ff7fcb-920d-4df3-bb30-76414df5328a


  • Jones, P., Davies, B., & Pal, J. (1992). Spokes in the wheel of retailing. International Journal of Retail and Distribution Management, 20(2), 35-38. . Publication link: a33af86f-5539-4ddb-864d-5b2d8e364e60


  • Pal, J., Baron, S. (Ed.), Davies, B. (Ed.), & Swindley, D. (Ed.) (1991). Major contributor of various definitions. In Macmillan Dictionary of Retailing. London: Macmillan. . Publication link: 1d307bea-259e-4896-9f3d-11946794eff1