ANALYST VIEWS: WILL THE FESTIVE PERIOD KICKSTART SALES AND HELP CONFIDENCE RETURN TO RETAIL?

HOWARD ARCHER | IHS GLOBAL INSIGHT
"Things are improving slightly but there is still a lot of caution. Wage rises have fallen behind inflation and there is still the impact of government cuts to be fully felt next year."

STEPHEN ROBERTSON | BRITISH RETAIL CONSORTIUM
"It is reassuring to see a majority of retailers believe Christmas sales will be at least as good as last year, even if a third say they will be worse."

GERARD LANE | SHORE CAPITAL
"Consumers are benefiting from a pick up in employment and have not yet seen the squeeze on the pocket of tax increases. The private sector job creation is starting to rise. The winter weather may prove temporary. For retailers facing top end consumers, low interest rates and higher asset prices may have seen a return in retail sector confidence."