Dr. Esther Pugh
Senior Lecturer, Leeds Business School, Leeds Beckett University
Esther is the research lead for retail and consumer marketing, encouraging collaboration in research and publication across the business schools. She is passionate about the retail experience and extending research in this area, to encapsulate emotional, subjective and symbolic shopping.
Esther’s research interests are fashion retail, consumer behaviour, visual merchandising, and the sensory retail experience in physical stores. Currently, Esther is researching charity shop donations behaviours, the role of British Vogue in shaping the Slow Fashion agenda, and the role of mirrors in physical fashion and beauty shopping spaces. She is publishing from her PhD the conceptual contribution ‘Spatial Fabric’ and her innovative participative smartphone photographic methodology.
Prior to entering the academic world, Esther was in charge of visual merchandising for global fashion retail brands, Oasis and Coast. Esther has also run her own vintage fashion business and continues to maintain a keen interest in vintage fashion, the circular economy and sustainable lifestyles.
In all her teaching, Esther extends learning beyond the classroom into the world of retail, marketing and business with real organisations and real live problems. Her extended network is always brought in to support the students with real projects, assignments and the opportunity to engage externally with future potential employers. This develops students’ transferable skills and confidence. Esther is also passionate about the students she teaches and especially their sense of belonging. She is undertaking a large and multi-departmental project with the student union, IT, wellbeing, the library, careers and admin to investigate this. By exploring the undergraduate students’ feelings about sense of belonging, Esther aims to improve wellbeing and resilience to enhance belonging, which will in turn improve student success, continuation and outcomes.