We’re now on the cusp of the festive trading season and signs mostly point to carnage, writes Zeenat Moorad When retailers stop saying they’re "cautiously optimistic" you know the brown stuff has hit the proverbial fan.They’ve been decidedly downbeat in their commentary, tone and cadence over the past few months (that’s what they’re saying and how they’re saying it).I counted the words "challenging", "pressure" and "uncertain" at least 18 times across five Sens statements.Remember that for a lot of retailers, the make or break of their year is largely dependent on their second-half performance because of Christmas.We’re now on the cusp of the festive trading season and signs mostly point to carnage.Just one thing: Father’s Day was barely over, then came the pumpkins and already Xmas tinsel was up in a few stores in late September.There’s a term for this much-derided retail practice. It’s called Christmas Creep: a bit of marketing trickery for early bird shoppers and more pointedly, ...

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