For the majority of UK #Retailers it seems it was a Merry Christmas. With trading results of the festive period showing that shoppers continue to spend and shrug off the Brexit vote. On an industry level, people selling things you need like food that always is resilient. Right, but what's much more interesting is what happening in the kind of discretionary end of the spectrum.

Retailers are not selling what people need

Retailers were selling the things that people don't need like gadgets, clothes and home-wares. That gives us a much better read on how the consumer is feeling, the health of consumer and all those kinds of segments have performed really well too.

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Amid a flurry of results the shining star was Marks & Spencer. After years of decline in its clothing range the company seems to be back in style. A 2.3 percent increase in like-for-like sales, not only in its first quarter growth in two years but was also way above expectations.

The M&S enjoyed highest sales

The M&S results are encouraging for new boss Steve Row but it's not mission accomplished just yet. The timing has been beneficial with a change to the reporting period, meaning an extra five day trade this year. Improving on last year's this month’s performer wouldn't have been difficult, but the company is showing signs of a turnaround. The company is also showing that changes to its clothing range have been a hit with shoppers. John Louis after regarded as the bellwether for the high street also reported strong sales up almost three percent of both Waitrose and at the department store.

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The chairman of the retail group is cautious, warning of a significant cut to staff bonuses and tough times ahead. What they are saying is that the outlook is uncertain and in particular the weakness of Sterling is a sort of the dog that has not really barked in the UK and it's uncertain that how that will happen.

Weaker Pound and the UK's economy

In that situation they are determined to have the firepower to invest in making sure that the partnership Waitrose and John Lewis are successful in the future. Retailers are not only feeling the pressure from rising prices caused by the weaker Pound but also the contribution of online sales to grow. With businesses like A-Sloth, very seizing the opportunity and profiting. Retailers that have a strong story state and digital leverage their online retail strategy to boost their sales; they are going to do very well. The so-called Super Thursday brought good tidings to the big retailers in the UK. But it also comes with warnings that the year ahead might not be as cheerful. The big challenge for the businesses is to keep people spending in times of uncertainty. #business #M&S