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The big retail sell-off

The big retail sell-off

Before the year is out, the retail sector has taken yet another blow. Rumblings of a poor Christmas trading period started to gather pace last week when Sports Direct (SPD) founder Mike Ashley warned bosses at department store Debenhams (DEB) – in which Sports Direct has a near-30 per cent stake – that high-street retailers would be "smashed to pieces" by a severe lack of demand in the run-up to Christmas. Mr Ashley warned the Debenhams board that November was "the worst on record", despite the inclusion of American-import promotional bonanza Black Friday.

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