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Daily Round Up: White Stuff slows UK store openings; Verdict predicts tough year ahead for retail and Mercedes-Benz adds Madrid Fashion Week to its sponsorship portfolio

From around the web and the nationals

WHITE STUFF, the lifestyle retailer and brand, said it is slowing down its UK store openings. Chief executive Sally Bailey told the Guardian this year has been the toughest she has seen in more than 20 years in retailing.

VERDICT, the research firm, has predicted another tough year for retailers, as rising living costs eat into consumer spending to the tune of £1bn. It suggests retail sales will increase by £3.5bn, or 1.2% to £295.3bn in 2012, what would be the weakest figures for the last 40 years. It also predicts consumer spending will grow by 1.2%, the third slowest rate in the same time frame.

MADRID FASHION WEEK has signed up German car brand Mercedes-Benz as its official sponsor. The show will now be known as Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Madrid. The car brand also sponsors New York and Berlin shows.

NEARLY 7 million new iPhone users activated their devices in the US on Christmas Day, a further sign of the growing potential of the mobile commerce market.


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