Imports into major US ports are estimated to have increased 7% over 2017 with holiday imports estimated at more than double 2016 levels, indicating high consumer confidence and an increase in retail spending.
Analysts are gloomy about Debenhams' prospects after a downward spiral of markdowns hurt Christmas season profits. And speculation about faster job cuts and store closures has followed its trading update.
A last-minute surge in high street shopping in the week leading up to Christmas wasn't enough to rescue December trading. That’s the message from the latest BDO UK high street sales tracker that was released on Friday.
Westfield has reported a 1% hike in visitors to its London malls for the Christmas season and while that’s not a big leap, against a backdrop of lower footfall at malls, it’s actually a very strong performance.
Next's Christmas trading update Wednesday painted a picture of a company that's recovering, but only very slowly, and one that still faces huge challenges, especially in driving growth at its physical stores.
UK stores face a post-Christmas returns flood and could refund £2.5bn of unwanted gifts this month with January 2 the heaviest returns day. Meanwhile consumers are expecting a more seamless returns process than ever.
As the UK gets ready for a spate of trading updates, it seems that the week before Christmas saw a late shopping surge with fashion sales rising year-on-year, but it's unlikely to have rescued an otherwise weak season.
In her first results announcement since taking over as CEO, The White Company chief executive Mary Homer reported sales growth and an operating profit rise at the UK-based company, although profit was only up by 2%.
Bad weather, a touch of complacency and expectations of bigger discounts may have kept Britons from splashing out in a big way so far this Christmas season, but the shopper trickle will turn into a flood this weekend.