Some 47% of independent retailers reported a worse Christmas than in 2006 according to the British Shops and Stores Association's quarterly sales monitor.
The BSSA said that independent retailers and medium-sized chains had recorded a 1.5% rise in overall average performance in the run up to Christmas 2007. However within that figure, results were heavily polarised between winners and losers.
Those retailers that reported a worse Christmas than last year said that sales had fallen back on average 11.1% while the 51% who reported better sales than in 2006 said the average growth was 13.6%.
There was also a clear divide in performance by region too. Sales were up an average 4.5% for indies in the South West while sales were down by around 3% in Wales.
BSSA chief executive John Dean said: "For the majority of independent retailers the Christmas trading period is a crucial element of their financial year, with the most recent clearly bringing mixed fortunes for many of them. Optimism for the year ahead is evenly divided, with 50% of retailers commenting that they are 'anxious'."
The BSSA Sales Monitor does not include any results from multiple retailers. For more information or to take part in the next quarterly survey go to www.british-shops.co.uk.