It was a pretty gloomy festive season for many high street shops. Retail figures released today show only a 1.5% rise in sales in the run-up to Christmas, which is under the rate of inflation.
Last year Dudley had one of the highest number of empty shops in the country, but the Chamber of Commerce says retailers are now fighting back.
The value of retail sales only rose by 1.5 % over the Christmas period, which is under the rate of inflation. There's concern it could mean more businesses having to close in town centres like Dudley which already has many empty shops.
But Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Chamber of Commerce says retailers are fighting back with innovative tactics to draw in customers.
President of the Black Country Chamber of Commerce, Paul Bennett has told ITV Central shops need to innovate to compete with the internet.
Retail sales did rise over the Christmas period, but only by 1.5%, which is under the rate of inflation.
Mr Bennett says shopping centres need to be a more attractive experience to rival online.
Allison Wade says that Christmas shoppers were looking for bargains in her shop in Dudley.
Shoppers in Dudley preferred the High Street to the internet for their Christmas spending.
The Black Country Chamber of Commerce says that the key to retail success in the Midlands is innovation.