Moaning about a minuscule rise in interest rates is little more than looking for an excuse for poor performance, says John Ryan.

Fancy a drink? Another? Oh go on then, cheers. If you’re a first-time house buyer and have chosen a standard variable rate mortgage, it will matter little where you are.

By foregoing another libation a couple of times a month, you’ll have covered the increase in rates that took place last week.

And before you respond that most first-time buyers will have locked themselves into fixed-rate deals, the example is purely for illustrative purposes to show how little dosh is involved.

Yet retail’s great and good had a bit of a moan about the move, saying that it sent the wrong signals out to consumers.

Perhaps. But heading off to the pub for a quickie after work as we enter the festive season is far more likely to damage the finances, and a drop-in-the-ocean mortgage increase won’t even register until the New Year celebrations are out of the way.

So wouldn’t it make sense to focus on visual merchandising, seasonal messaging and providing shoppers with an experience that will make them reach into purses with strings already loosened thanks to the Christmas imperative?

The truth of the matter is that as we head into the golden weeks before Christmas, retailers have other fish to fry.

First and foremost, have they got the right products? If they have, have they gone about promoting them in an effective manner?

For many retailers, this may be a matter of getting the all-important and significantly-hyped Christmas advert right.

Shoppers react quicker than Gogglebox audiences when it comes to these, and they may even influence purchasing decisions – or at least that’s what the ad men will claim.

Then there’s the matter of whether your stock is displayed enticingly enough, in the windows and in-store, to seal the deal.

Finally, and way down the list, is whether there’s enough money to pay for all of this.

Money matters, but let’s think about it later. And as for Brexit, well things will be little different in January.

So wouldn’t it make sense to focus on visual merchandising, seasonal messaging and providing shoppers with an experience that will make them reach into purses with strings already loosened thanks to the Christmas imperative?

On this reckoning, complaining about a very small interest rate rise, the purpose of which would appear to be largely symbolic, is looking for an excuse for lacklustre performance.

Get on and sell what you’ve got – you know you can.