Retailers are playing a waiting game
With day-to-day trading of constant interest to retailers, is interviewing a number of The Mall's centre managers during the final week of this year's Christmas shopping period.

The final report in this series comes from Michael Thompson, general manager of The Mall in Wood Green, north London.

'As of Wednesday, December 22, I feel that a number of retailers are biting their finger nails. The sportswear shops have gone into full Sale mode and a number of independents have followed suit.

Wood Green is traditionally a late Christmas shopping location. Christmas Eve is our busiest day of the year. I confidently predict that at 4.00pm, customers will still be streaming in. Footfall and car park usage during December has been a week behind last year's figures. The two-day jump of Christmas now falling on the Saturday has made a tremendous impact on customer psychology, coupled with an awareness that retailers are resorting to reducing prices prior to Christmas. This has made the customer more cautious about early purchases.

A little elf, who works within earshot of Father Christmas, advises me that PlayStation 2 consoles, Baby Annabel, wrestler rings, Robosapiens and telescopes are the favoured presents for the younger generation.'