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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A very cold, dry day in strong, blustery wind for most with some sleet or snow showers.
A retired grandfather received a shock when he was sent a tax bill for £4.7 billion, paid with monthly instalments of £950 million.
Staying mostly dry for much of the day, and turning increasingly sunny.