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John Lewis among retailers feeling pinch; in association with RBS.



MORE retailers have succumbed to the dire trading conditions being seen on the high street amid gloomy news of company administrations and poor sales figures sales figures nplcifras fpl de ventas .

Curtains and furnishings firm Rosebys went into administration yesterday, while Savile Row Savile Row occupies a quiet corner of Mayfair in central London near Bond Street and is famous for its men's bespoke tailoring.

Many of the greatest, most famous or most infamous men in history have patronised the many tailors that occupy this street; men such as Winston
 tailor and former dressmaker to the Queen Hardy Amies announced it was fighting for survival.

Reports suggested that furniture retailer MFI MFI Microfinance Institution
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 was also battling to secure its future.

And sales declines at retail chains John Lewis and JJB Sports added to the misery.

John Lewis, seen as a bellwether of the industry, gave the sector a particular shock after it confirmed that the financial turmoil had knocked consumer confidence for six.

Sales across its 27 department stores fell by 5.6% in the week to September 20, while its grocery chain Waitrose saw sales growth grind to a halt.

Its home division suffered the most, with sales off 14% as the housing market slowdown continues.

The woes at Rosebys and MFI underlined the difficulties being faced by property-related retailers.

But fashion firms are also being challenged, with hard-pressed shoppers choosing not to splash their cash.

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 reported a loss of pounds 9.7m in the six months to July 27, against a profit of pounds 8.3m a year earlier, with sales down in the period and falling further since.

Clive Black, retail analyst at Shore Capital Stockbrokers, said: "The news of what's been happening in the financial markets over the past two weeks has been very worrying for consumers and has impacted their confidence.

"The fact that the sunshine has also come out for the first time in a while also means that people are choosing instead to spend time in their gardens or the park."

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PLEASURES PAST? Shoppers have been staying at home following the latest gloomy economic news.
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Sep 27, 2008
Words:300
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