A look at the figures for John Lewis would indicate not, as they showed strong sales over the same period.  House of Fraser reported strong Christmas sales and Next reported an 11.9pc increase. Tesco who were down overall saw a 14% jump in internet sales. M&S actually did quite well on sales volume but profits were hit by deep discounting of between 20% -30% in the run up to Christmas.

source: Telegraph

The message really is if your proposition and product is attractive, and you have a bricks and clicks model, you will do well. The retail customer has become much cannier, prepared now to spend, but still demanding exceptional value, a habit acquired in the recessionary period of the last five years that isn't likely to go away. Retailers need to look afresh at how they can deliver value for customers whilst preserving profits. After all some of them are already doing it.

The Jersey angle?  The jersey Property Unit Trust is the vehicle of choice for international investors putting money into retail investment in the UK such as shopping malls, warehousing and distribution centres. FDI chanelled through Jersey exceeds £500bn. 

On the infrastructure front good to see this morning Chinese interest expressed in HS2 investment. Jersey has provided the corporate vehicles for over 25% of AIM investment into the UK by Chinese companies.

If you would like to know how Jersey can help your international clients invest in the UK and Europe do get in touch with our business development team