The Centre for International Research in Consumers, Locations and Environments is a cross-faculty, pan University research centre initially created at Leeds Metropolitan University.

CIRCLE was created in 2003 as a virtual group of researchers within Hospitality & Retailing subject group, Leeds Business School and Innovation North. Today each university has its own CIRCLE which feeds into CIRCLE International and is based across 80 universities across the world.

It hosts an annual conference at differing venues throughout Europe amongst its 80 partner institutions and contains 24 higher degree students from throughout Europe with 11 completions of PhD / MPhil in the period 2005/10.  In 2012 the PhD completion has increased to over 50.

CIRCLE International is under the direction of Prof Claudio Vignali who is the President Emeritus. Each year a president is elected from the management committee to develop the conference details.

CIRCLE International disseminates research results to both practitioner and academic audiences, is the home for the International Journal of Management Cases and provides staff experts who speak on retail and consumer issues to both business and consumer media.

CIRCLE International also provides an independent virtual college of learning. 

Overall Aims

To bring together and provide a forum for practicing managers, academics and researchers throughout all university faculties together with a network of external partnerships. 


To cross boundaries and lever the resulting synergies of its knowledge base.

The virtual college will develop higher degree programmes and their delivery.

Explore skills gaps and implement master class programmes.

Development of a research focus around CIRCLE International topics.

Scientific Committee

Prof Claudio Vignali PhD  

Dr. Razaq Raj
Leeds Metropolitan University UK

Prof Vitor Ambrosio
University of Estoril Portugal

                        Dr. Antonio Feraco

                                                        Dr. Gianpaolo Vignali
                                                        University of Manchester,  UK

                                       Prof Barry Davies 
                                       University of Gloucestershire, UK

                                    Prof R. Kaufmann
                                    University Nicosia Cyprus


                                                 Prof. Leo Dana
                                                 Canterbury University, New Zealand

                                                        Dr. Tahir Rashid
                                                        University of Salford

                                                           Prof Bernd Britzelmaier

                                                        Prof. Darko Tipuric
                                                  University of Zagreb, Croatia


CIRCLE International is an independent association, separate to the universities here listed. Each partner is allowed to have its own CIRCLE research centre.