There was a huge upset at Debenhams on Thursday as a major shareholder lost patience with its top two execs. The result is that its chairman stepped down after the AGM and the CEO has been voted off the board.
There’s rarely good news surrounding UK department store Debenhams these days, and its Christmas trading update on Thursday certainly didn't deliver much, although there were some crumbs of comfort in a bleak report.
Joules has been one of the big success stories of UK retail in recent years, so its Christmas trading update was closely watched on Tuesday. The company really delivered with an upturn compared to the first half.
The shopping surge everyone had hoped for in the final week of the pre-Christmas shopping season didn’t quite happen, but in the very last week of the month, massive discounts finally loosened consumer purse strings.
While the Christmas shopping season is generally acknowledged to have been a weak one for UK stores, it hasn’t been quite as bad as some expected and sector stars like Selfridges managed to turn it into a triumph.
So it’s started. The deluge of trading updates expected from UK retailers in the weeks ahead has begun with Next and after all the speculation about plunging sales, what actually happened? Well it wasn't too bad.
E-sales growth in the run-up to Christmas may have been weaker than for some years, but that shouldn't hold Christmas Day e-spending back with a new prediction that it will reach a significant milestone this year.
Slowing growth in e-tail in Britain reflected tough economic times and excessive Black Friday discounts a new report said on Wednesday, but discount fatigue seems to be setting in and the future is uncertain.