The recession has come to an end - officially - but speaking to the great and the good of fashion at this week’s Retail Trust Ball they were not celebrating just yet.

The recession has come to an end — officially — but speaking to the great and the good of fashion at this week’s Retail Trust Ball they were not celebrating just yet.

Uncertainty was the buzz word of many people on the night with no one willing to call the shape of the year until after the election.

But as the days start to get lighter and we emerge from the winter gloom more pent up spending could be there for the taking. Those who held back last year to save money or through job security concerns may decide to splash out for spring as they did over Christmas.

With Pets at Home being sold to KKR yesterday for £955m the deals market at least looks like it as starting to stir once more.

Now all eyes will be on Matalan, New Look and Supergroup for their sales or floats which are all looking imminent.

Anthony Thompson’s move to Fat Face also showed the appetite to lead a private equity growth story and his appointment has created speculation about whether Bridgepoint, which also owned Pets, will be soon looking for an exit. Fat Face has certainly found a very capable man to steer the business into a very strong - and marketable position.

However, there have been some fingers burnt in the private equity fires so it is unlikely that the rash of deals happening three or four years ago will return any time soon.

With Adams now in administration for the third time in three years many people are questioning if there is a space for a standalone children’s offer on the high street.

The competition from supermarkets and value players such as Primark has been too strong and there is little differentiation between what Adams offered and what was available in more convenient locations such as supermarkets.

Anyone who takes Adams on again will really need to find a more unique space for it whether that is in design or a different market position. Otherwise the future looks bleak.