Mixed fortunes for retail after occupiers suffer worst Christmas in a decade

As the retail sector’s battle against changing customer habits intensified throughout 2018, the industry braced itself for a bleak festive shopping season. And the period was not kind to some retailers, such as Marks & Spencer and Debenhams, which each suffered a like-for-like slump in sales. The latter, which last year outlined plans to close up to 50 stores over the next few years, has begun talks with lenders and is considering new sources of funding. However, other large retail chains, including Dunelm and Greggs, enjoyed a better-than-expected Christmas. And in a reassuring sign, there have been