By Alex Brummer, December 9, 2010
Britain's retailers are heading into the holiday season in a remarkably chipper state. They have had a surprisingly strong year.
In the food sector, Tesco remains steady, Sainsbury's continues to gain ground and Waitrose is challenging Marks & Spencer in the "quality market".
So far, the pre-Christmas sale signs have yet to appear, although many of the supermarket chains, including Morrisons and Asda, are seeking to attract shoppers by offering early discounts on champagne, wines and spirits.