British clothing and food retailer Marks & Spencer named Marc Bolland as its next leader, passing over internal candidates to poach the marketing expert who led a turnaround at Wm Morrison Supermarkets.
Department store group Debenhams announced a four-day sale starting on November 18 in a move which it predicts could spark a price war reminiscent of the frenzied discounting in the run-up to last Christmas.
Swedish fashion retailer Hennes & Mauritz posted an unexpected 3 percent drop at established stores in October, blaming weak sales in some of its major markets on the global downturn and knocking its shares.
John Lewis, the employee-owned group seen as a barometer of UK retailing, posted a 13.2 percent rise in weekly department store sales, boosting confidence as the key Christmas shopping period gets underway.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc reported a higher quarterly profit as the world's biggest retailer clamped down on inventory and controlled expenses, but forecast earnings over the key holiday quarter that could miss Wall Street estimates.
Weekly sales at John Lewis department stores jumped 7.8 percent year-on-year, boosted by demand for Halloween products and early Christmas shopping and adding to signs of a consumer recovery in Britain.