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Reel good times for Angling Direct

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It's not all doom and gloom among retailers. Fishing specialist Angling Direct said it profited from record Black Friday sales.

It posted a 31.5% rise in sales to £14.6m in the four months to the end of November, while in-store like-for-like turnover increased by 7.2% to £4.96m.

Online revenue climbed 24.3% to £6.7m, with sales in Black Friday week rocketing 55.8% to £1.3m.

Angling Direct chief Darren Bailey said: "The company has taken great encouragement from the recent performance against the backdrop of a difficult retail trading environment.

The company wants to open around 20 new stores in the UK in 2019 and 2020 as well as "significantly" increase online sales.

Meanwhile rival Fishing Republic recently announced its intention to appoint administrators.

FTSE 100 closes lower

Unsurprisingly, the FTSE 100 hasn't managed to shrug off its gloom. It's ended the day 1.1% lower at 6,773.24.

The FTSE 250 also finished 1.1% lower at 17,469.83.

Retailers were among the biggest fallers after Asos' gloomy warning about Christmas shopping. Next and Marks and Spencer both lost almost 5%.

Shop discounts could climb to 48% by Christmas Eve

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If you haven't already bought your Christmas gifts, you could be in line to snap up some bargains.

British consumers are benefiting from record levels of pre-Christmas discounting in 2018, according to analysis of more than 800,000 products by Deloitte.

It said retail discounts currently average 43.6%, more than 0.3% deeper than those seen two years ago.

But by Christmas Eve, average retail discounts could rise to 48%, which would be a new record.

"Christmas falling on a Tuesday, shorter Sunday opening hours and many choosing the weekend prior to Christmas to travel to friends or family will complicate the last few crucial days trading," said Deloitte's Jason Gordon.

"This is why we expect retailers to ramp up their discounting earlier than normal in an attempt to clear stock."

Guess got 50% reduction

More on Guess.

The Commission said the retailer cooperated "beyond its legal obligation to do so" which meant that the fine was cut by 50%.

The company told the Commission about an infringement of EU competition rule which it had not known about.

This related to the prohibition to use Guess brand names and trademarks for online search advertising. The company also provided evidence and acknowledged the facts and the infringements of EU competition rules.

Guess fined for 'artificially high prices'

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Retailer Guess has been fined €40m for restricting the way its produce can be sold in the EU.

The fine by the European Commission was issued after an investigation that began in June 2017 into the way products were sold online by thousands of companies.

Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, said: "Guess' distribution agreements tried to prevent EU consumers from shopping in other member states by blocking retailers from advertising and selling cross-border. This allowed the company to maintain artificially high retail prices, in particular in Central and Eastern European countries".

According to the Commission, this meant that prices were higher in central and eastern European than western Europe by as much as 10%.

The announcement can be found here.

Zalando knocked by Asos

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The repercussions of the Asos profits warning have reached Germany, where its rival Zalando is also sliding on the stock market.

The shares are at their lowest in four years after slumping 16% this morning.