John Lewis, the employee-owned group seen as a barometer of retail spending, said on Friday sales surged at both its department stores and upmarket grocery chain in the days before and after Christmas.
Not since at least 1970 has holiday shopping in the United States posted such dismal numbers, according to data released on Tuesday that was likely to prompt retailers to curtail their business even more in 2009.
Fashion retail chain USC is to axe 300 jobs, or a fifth of its staff, becoming Britain's latest victim of an economic downturn, the financial group charged with helping to save the company said Monday.
Japan's second-largest retailer Aeon Co Ltd (8267.T) is likely to report a net loss of 10-20 billion yen ($110-$220 million) for the nine months ended in November, hurt by a writedown at its U.S. apparel unit Talbots (TLB.
U.S. retail shares traded lower on Friday following data showing the first decline in holiday sales in at least 40 years, though a handful of stores defied the trend. The Standard & Poor's Retail Index .RLX fell 0.
Italian retail sales dipped 0.3 percent in October after rising slightly in September, according to seasonally adjusted figures released on Tuesday December 24th by the national statistics agency ISTAT.They rose 0.
Russian state diamond miner Alrosa has secured a 44.2 billion rouble ($1.59 billion) loan from state-controlled bank VTB (VTBR.MM) which will allow it to redeem its short-term debt this year, VTB said on Friday.
France's Aeroports de Paris (ADP.PA) and Switzerland's The Nuance Group (TNG), a retailer partly owned by Stefanel (STEP.MI), gained permission from the European Commission on Monday to form a joint venture.
Unprecedented pre-Christmas discounting by the country's store groups is helping to improve consumer confidence, a survey showed on Friday, but retailers remain gloomy about their prospects heading into 2009.