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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Organisations across the Midlands are today urging people to spot the signs of modern slavery in a bid to stamp out the crime.
18-month-old Luke saved the life of his big brother Joshua by donating his own bone marrow and umbilical cord.
54-year-old Garry Twist died after suffering serious injuries at the end of last month.