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Christmas: How shops fared in four charts

Image copyright European Photopress Agency Most shops have reported their sales figures for the festive period. We take a look in four charts at how they fared. Ahead of Christmas 2018, the fact that many shops were already offering large discounts suggested they were struggling to sell their stock. Retail industry body the British Retail Consortium says it was the worst Christmas in a decade for businesses overall with total sales flat year-on-year in December. But not all shops fared badly. We take a look at how the retail sector…

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Christmas on the High Street: Retail winners and losers

Image copyright Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images Many of the UK’s largest shopping chains have reported Christmas sales and it’s a very mixed picture. While the trade body for shops, the British Retail Consortium, said it’s been the worst Christmas for retailers in 10 years, some shops have had a relatively good festive period. “Retail is facing the most disruption it’s ever faced,” says Alan O’Neill, who was hired at Selfridges as a consultant when it was bought by the Weston family in 2003. So whose tills overflowed with Christmas cheer…

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Debenhams sales tumble over Christmas

Image copyright Getty Images Struggling department store chain Debenhams has reported a fall in sales during the crucial Christmas trading period. In a “volatile” environment with customers seeking discounts, Debenhams reported a 5.7% fall in like-for-like sales in the 18 weeks to 5 January. The group, which is closing 50 stores, said it would not sell any businesses while it spoke to its lenders. Talks with lenders were “constructive”, Debenhams said. In the shorter trading period, the six weeks to 5 January, like-for-like sales – which strip out changes to…

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Worst Christmas for retailers in a decade, says BRC

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption There were a number of discounts in stores in the run-up to Christmas Retail sales were flat in December, as UK businesses experienced their worst Christmas in a decade, according to the British Retail Consortium (BRC). Total retail sales showed 0% year-on-year growth during the month, the worst December performance since 2008. The BRC said price cuts appeared not to have been enough to encourage shoppers. A separate report from Barclaycard said consumer spending grew 1.8% year-on-year in December, the lowest rate of growth…

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New Zealand birds: Christmas decorations tied around sparrows

Image copyright SPCA Image caption SPCA staff removing tinsel attached to a pigeon Dozens of birds have been found dead or injured in New Zealand with Christmas decorations tied around their necks and wings. Sparrows and pigeons have been reported with “decorative trinkets” tied to them in Wellington. Some of them died of starvation as they are unable to fly and find food, according to the SPCA. Although there have been similar incidents since 2015, there has been a spike in sightings in recent weeks. Authorities believe the birds are…

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Sainsbury’s sees retail sales fall 1.1% over Christmas

Image copyright Getty Images Sainsbury’s has seen its like-for-like retail sales fall by 1.1% across the Christmas holiday period. The supermarket giant said in the 15 weeks to 9 January, grocery sales grew by 0.4%, with groceries online and in convenience stores up by 6% and 3%. But general merchandise sales fell 2.3% and overall clothing sales fell 0.2%. Chief executive Mike Coupe said: “Retail markets are highly competitive and very promotional and the consumer outlook continues to be uncertain.” He added: “General merchandise sales grew strongly over the key…

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Morrisons ‘performs well’ over Christmas

Image copyright Getty Images Supermarket Morrisons has reported a rise in sales in the crucial Christmas shopping period. The number four supermarket chain said sales had risen 3.6% in the nine weeks to 6 January, driven by a 3% rise in the wholesale division, which supplies Amazon and McColls. In the stores, sales rose 0.6% – more than the 0.5% expected by analysts. The chain said it had “performed well, sustaining a strong offer and trading the business hard for customers”. But retail sales are lower than in 1.3% in…

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Colchester Zoo: Essex Christmas tree recycling goes wild

Christmas tree recycling has created a “novel” post-festive delight for the residents of a zoo in Essex. About 200 trees, donated by local businesses, have been introduced as part of an enrichment programme at Colchester Zoo for many species including elephants, meerkats and chimpanzees. “The animals really enjoy the Christmas trees,” zoo spokeswoman Laura Lamb said. Food is hidden in the trees to encourage foraging and play. Source link

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Eat your Christmas tree (and five other top tips)

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Christmas is officially over – but your tree can live on There are pine needles all over the floor, the decorations are falling off and the base is starting to rot away. Sadly it’s time to throw out your once beautiful and carefully put together Christmas tree before it falls over and injures someone. But what else could you do with it instead of adding to your local council’s landfill? Here are six top tips just for you. 1. Eat it Yes really. Fancy…

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Christmas Day divorce: 13 people completed online applications

Image copyright Getty Images Thirteen people filed for divorce on Christmas Day in England and Wales, official figures show. They were among 455 online divorce applications submitted to HM Courts & Tribunals Service between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day. Twenty-six people submitted applications on Christmas Eve, 23 on Boxing Day and 77 on New Year’s Day. Since April 2018 spouses have been able to complete the divorce application process using the internet. Instead of sending paperwork, people can fill in applications, upload the documents needed and pay fees online.…

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