Up-to-date coverage of the latest events in UK retail.

Tough final Christmas trading week looms

Footfall is expected to fall about 3% this week, the final trading week before Christmas.

The Guardian reported the forecast, from traffic monitor Springboard.

Springboard Insights director Diane Wehrle said: “We are not anticipating it will be a bumper week by any means.

“Consumers are feeling nervous about what might happen in the new year, particularly around Brexit. So people are not prepared to splash out this Christmas and are reining back on spending.”

Laura Ashley to shut more UK stores

Homewares and clothing retailer Laura Ashley is to shut about 40 UK stores as it focuses on China, the BBC reported.

Laura Ashley, which is owned by Malaysian business MUI has already shut that number of UK branches since 2015.

MUI executive chairman Andrew Khoo Boo Yeow told reporters in Malaysia earlier this month that he expected tough trading conditions to continue.

He told the Press Association that the number of UK stores would be reduced from 160 to 120, but that the remaining shops would be expanded.

Sainsbury’s and Asda win more time in competition inquiry

Sainsbury’s and Asda have gained more time to respond to competition authority scrutiny of their their planned £7.3bn merger.

A competition appeal tribunal hearing on Friday ruled that the CMA should give the two grocers extra time because of the amount of work involved.

The pair had asked for an extra 11 days.