Other indicators of the consumer economy like retail sales have shown a rapid rebound since the COVID-19 restrictions were loosened, although evidence from businesses has been mixed.
Other indicators of the consumer economy like retail sales have shown a rapid rebound since the COVID-19 restrictions were loosened, although evidence from businesses has been mixed.

The 2020 Christmas holiday season presented British retailers with a unique challenge as they navigated strict COVID-19 containment measures and prepared for Britain’s departure from the European Union.

The United Kingdom is struggling to contain a new, fast-spreading variant of the coronavirus, while coming to terms with Britain’s new trading relationship with the European Union following its departure from the bloc.

As a new national lockdown has begun and coronavirus vaccines are rolled out, here is how some of Britain’s retailers are faring, with the latest news first:

MARKS & SPENCER

M&S reported another big fall in sales of clothing and homeware in the three months leading up to Christmas, as restrictions to curb the spread of the coronavirus hit demand and closed stores.

PETS AT HOME

The pet supplies retailer raised its pretax profit forecast for the second time in five months after strong Christmas sales, lifting its shares higher.

MARSTON’S

The pub operator said it expects pubs to be closed at least until March as part of the national lockdown imposed earlier this week, with some curbs to remain even after businesses are allowed to reopen.

SAINSBURY’S

The supermarket group raised its annual profit
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