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It's Christmas crunch time

Retailers may be heading off to their fancy holiday homes and yachts next week, but one thing's for sure there won't be many of them relaxing over the next few days.

Most will be pacing the beach anxiously awaiting weekend sales figures on their Blackberry's. Yes the weekend will be crucial in terms of Christmas performance and, quite frankly, the signs aren't great. High street footfall has tumbled again this week, undoing the uplift seen last weekend and of the sales that are coming through most are driven by heavy markdowns hammering margins.

Of the conversations I've had this week, several major fashion retailers are down double digit like-for-like and all are crossing their fingers that the "week late" Christmas - "there are still three full days to go you know" - has just stalled performance temporarily.

I for one will be braving London's Oxford Street at the weekend for a few last minute gift purchases. I must be mad I know but I've been a total victim of the "loads of time left" psychology-effect this year.

However, although I'll be out panic buying, I, like many others, will be adhering to a tight budget this year. And the reality is it would take a Christmas miracle and shopping like we've never seen this weekend to rescue this disastrous season.

Good luck and please post your Christmas Sale experiences in our comment box below.

The Drapers' "week in fashion" comment will be back on January 4.

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