October saw clothing sales plunge amid unseasonably warm weather, according to figures from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) and KPMG.
Despite being hot on the heels of four fashion weeks, good weather kept October shoppers from buying autumn fashions - making clothing the only retail category in decline that month.
A like-for-like rise of just 0.8% compared to a bleak period last year has left firms relying on a "bumper Christmas".
More top news
The royal couple have been in the US to mark the 300th anniversary of the foundings of New Orleans and San Antonio.
A small number of people were treated at Southgate Tube station, British Transport Police said.
Police and coastguard discovered the bodies of 42-year-old Cheryl Tompsett and her five-year-old son Leo Tompsett on Monday.