The crucial Christmas trading season is shaping up to have been a brutal one for Britain's non-food retailers.
Next Plc's sales gain was welcome, but hardly outstanding. Debenhams Plc, the department store chain, and Mothercare Plc, the parent and baby goods retailer, have both warned on profit.
Next up: Marks and Spencer Group Plc. Whether its report on Thursday shows clothing and home furnishing sales were better or worse than expected, there's one positive that investors shouldn't overlook.