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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Showers dying out.
Blustery showers this evening, mostly dry later.
This is the moment an armed robber pointed a gun at a shopkeeper and pulled the trigger but it failed to go off.