It is going to be a busy week for the UK retail industry as a sting of traders report on their Xmas performance.
First up today,already under pressure HMV which has seen its sales fell 8.2 percent in the five weeks to December 31.
The group were on the brink during last year,with falling profits,saddled with 164 million pounds of debt and facing intense competition from online music sales,can take at least a glimmer of hope from the results.
The results were an improvement on like-for-like sales which were down 13.2 percent in the seven weeks to December 17,although analysts are pointing out that Xmas Eve falling on a Saturday helped that comparison.
According to Chief Executive Simon Fox,"The continuing actions to focus the business and to expand our technology offering are beginning to show through, adding that
"We are seeing a combination of a slowing of the decline in music and film, and acceleration in the growth of technology. Undoubtedly trading conditions and the consumer environment remain challenging, but we remain confident in HMV's future prospects
Meanwhile grocery chain Morrisons is forecasting a tough 2012 after reporting a slowdown in sales growth over Christmas.
The figures have surprised analysts who believed that the chain's strength in fresh food coupled with its lesser dependence than it rivals on consumer goods would see it reap the benefit of consumer cutbacks
Sales at stores open over a year rose 0.7 percent, excluding fuel and VAT sales tax, in the six weeks to January 1 but that was down from 2.4 percent growth in its fiscal third quarter.