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Christmas may well be upon us, but retail sales have plummeted revealing the level of caution displayed by consumers. Data from the Office for National Statistics revealed that the volume of sales in November fell by 0.4 percent in comparison with November 2010, while October sales fell by 0.7 percent this year.

Reports from the British Retail Consortium show a similar gloomy picture, with growth of sales at the weakest level for six months. The figures were released just after a report by Mary Portas, the retail expert was published. Mary Portas has created a strategy to revitalise the high streets of the UK, some of which are critical according to the guru. The review was requested by David Cameron, and shows that the number of vacant properties in the town centres have doubled in the last two years.

A number of retail chains are facing financial difficulties, either calling in management consultants or considering the closure of store branches. La Senza, the lingerie chain has called in a management firm to help with restructuring. Thomas Cook is looking at closing 200 high street branches in the next two years, which would result in huge job losses. Barratt Priceless has entered into administration, putting the jobs of 3,800 people at risk.

A small number of retailers have reported success, like Moss Bros the suit specialists who reported an increase of 13.4 percent in sales during the 10 months leading to December. Sports Direct also reported an increase of sales, with revenue increasing by eight percent.

About The Author

Gary Fields

Content Writer working alongside our expert accountants to bring you the latest Tax and Accounting news.

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