There were protests and parties today as Donald Trump prepares to be inaugurated as the 45th US President.

But will his swearing in prove to be a cause for celebration or concern for UK retailers?

With Brexit uncertainty still hanging over the heads of British businesses, further instability across the pond was the last thing we needed.

But Trump lauded the UK’s decision to leave the EU during his election campaign and has already pledged to seek a quick trade deal with Theresa May.

This should be music to the ears of British retailers, 59% of whom count the US as its most important overseas ecommerce market.

As the world holds its breath, Britain could actually be poised to breathe a huge sigh of relief.

Elsewhere today, H&M’s future on Oxford Street was thrown into doubt after we revealed the fashion giant is quitting one of its three stores on the prime street.

The Swedish firm is also considering pulling out of its other two Oxford Street stores amid a perfect storm of sluggish sales and rising business rates.

We also broke news of a restructuring of Body Shop’s UK team, while there’s also a new man at the helm of Ebay UK after it snapped up Tesco’s head of general merchandise Rob Hattrell.

Quote of the day 

“Prices may have been slightly impacted by changing Christmas strategies, but this could indicate the start of more sustained price rises” 

– Barclays’ head of retail and wholesale Ian Gilmartin reacts to the ONS December sales data

Today in numbers


The fall in online sales suffered by Bonmarché in the five weeks to December 24.


Spike in sales posted by Ann Summers in the week to December 26.

Tomorrow’s agenda

After a busy end to the week, take advantage of two days without updates to catch up on everything you might have missed on

Luke Tugby, deputy news editor