THE tough environment in various sections of the retail world will be laid bare as Kingfisher, Morrisons and Next update the City this week.
Dunelm and Ocado will also be reporting, and those exposed to the brutally competitive grocery sector are expected to be finding the going hard.
However the wider sector should get a filip from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) as economists say improved job prospects should finally be translating into more consumer activity.
But the big story will increasingly be taking place north of the Border, as the world focuses its attention on the referendum.
Philip Shaw at Investec said: “Any new news on Scottish sentiment towards independence has the potential to impact UK markets.”
• China – Trade data kicks off a week of updates from the world’s number two economy.
• Retail sales monitor – There are hopes that the BRC’s figures for August will confirm an improvement in the consumer environment following disappointment in July.
• Bank of England – Governor Mark Carney will be on less comfortable ground than usual as he addresses the Trades Union Congress.
• Kingfisher – With the B&Q owner seemingly unable to take full advantage of the housing market recovery, analysts expect a drop in half-year numbers, but are hoping for a strategy update.
• Morrisons – Pre-tax profits likely halved, and brokers think the grocer’s dividend will follow suit at 6.5p for the year.
• Next – The retailer is expected to extend its lead over rival Marks & Spencer when it posts a strong set of half-year results.
• Construction – Official output figures should confirm survey data showing the sector is in fine fettle.