Hopes for a flurry of flotations from Britain's retailers may prove misplaced after investors' lukewarm response to strong Christmas sales and amid growing fears life will get tougher again for consumers in 2010.
A surge in Christmas sales at British discount fashion retailer Matalan could reinvigorate a sale process that has run slowly since private equity houses first expressed an interest in the chain in October.
Retailers are using a host of strategies in adapting to the downturn -- from improving their products to expanding their e-commerce businesses -- which they hope will better position themselves for a rebound in the economy.
Department store group Debenhams forecast a further rise in profit margin in 2010 despite the tough economic outlook as it posted a small rise in sales and a profit increase in the run-up to Christmas.
Women's apparel chain New York & Co Inc said it will launch more outlet stores, following favorable customer response to a test of the concept in 2009, while also backing its fourth-quarter profit view.
Foot Locker said it was consolidating its management team, cutting jobs and closing 117 stores this quarter as the athletic shoe retailer reorganizes its business under its new chief executive officer.