THE host of big name retailers publishing their festive trading figures yesterday on so-called Super Thursday. Sadly though, it was not very super for most of them.

The numbers revealed the retail sector endured its worst December since the financial crisis, hit hard by a combination of falling consumer confidence in the face of Brexit uncertainty and soaring costs.

Marks & Spencer sales were under pressure, with the performance of both clothing and food wilting.

Debenhams served up another set of dismal results, while John Lewis’ 83,000 staff woke up to news that their annual bonus is under threat for the first time since 1953.

The retailer expects profits to be “substantially lower” this year amid slower sales growth.

Only Tesco emerged with positive news, unveiling its best set of Christmas trading figures in nearly a decade.

What does all this tell us about the health of our high streets here in the North-East and North Yorkshire? Nothing we did not already know – that retailers are struggling, and there are likely be more high profile casualties.

Councils have woken up to the fact they need to take action, with Darlington looking at a new strategy for the town centre, and Stockton agreeing to borrow £30m to buy up and regenerate key sites. On their own, those plans are unlikely to be enough, without other interventions alongside. The one thing we can all do to help though, is to make a commitment to spend our hard-earned pounds locally and support the businesses on our doorsteps.