I've heard from a few different places that big retailers are struggling, people just arent spending like they have in previous years. A quick look at the ads in the newspapers seems to support it. Most big retailers are massively discounting, for long periods to get shoppers in. They have probably ordered in a lot of stock for Christmas, and cant get rid of it, so are slashing profit margins so they wont be stuck with lots of unsold stock.
Arnotts for example has had 20% off sales (on nearly everything) over the past few weeks, the first time its ever happened before Christmas apparently. Their sales figures where down quite a bit due to increased competition, and people being more cautious with their spending.
Has anyone else noticed this?