A raft of retailers provided a snapshot of the current fragile retail economy in their trading updates last week and it wasn't especially comforting.
Supermarket giant Tesco revealed a 0.5% fall in first-half like-for-like sales - excluding VAT and petrol - in the
Elsewhere on the high street,
However, despite the gloomy sales figures, the retail sector has not been hit by any significant administrations following the September rent quarter day. With some respite on the insolvency front, preparations are now firmly under way for what is hoped to be a boost in sales activity for retailers in the run up to Christmas.
It is also worth flagging up the recent Indian summer experienced in the
Diane Wehrle, research director at Springboard, said: "The last week of September, which included the week of unusually hot weather, represented the only week in the month in which footfall increased from last year (+2.4%) - in all other weeks during September footfall fell from last year. The result for the last week of the month is much more positive than the result for the same week in 2010, when footfall fell by -4.5%."