I don’t know about you, but the volume of emails in my inbox for sales and special promotions has gone through the roof recently. There’s probably never been a better time for a bargain hunter. Unfortunately it is a symptom of the weak economic background and the desperation of retailers to shift product. These are worrying times for the nation’s shopkeepers. The squeeze on real incomes from high inflation on one side and static incomes on the other is going to make it tough. I suspect we will see some bankruptcies after Christmas. Christmas cheer is going to be in short supply. I’ve never known a time where so many friends and ex-colleagues have been out of work. Let’s hope it gets better next year.