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.
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Baverstock Academy in Druid's Heath was plunged into uncertainty in June 2016 because of financial difficulties.
Most will have a pleasant and dry evening, though the odd light shower is possible.
Remaining mostly dry tonight.