The turnaround plans of Marks & Spencer and Morrisons will be in the spotlight when the retailers post updates during a busy week for corporate news.
Marks & Spencer is set to unveil its ninth consecutive quarter of falling clothing sales on Tuesday, heaping more pressure on chief executive Marc Bolland.
The retailer is attempting to revive flagging general merchandise sales, which span clothing and homewares, with a star-studded advertising campaign featuring Dame Helen Mirren and Olympic boxer Nicola Adams.
But analysts believe the campaign will have little impact on sales in the July to September quarter, while the mild autumn could also dent trading, as on average they predict a fall of 1.5% for like-for-like general merchandise sales.
That would follow a 1.6% fall in its first quarter to the end of June, when M&S said it was battling intense discounting.
The City expects pre-tax profits of £262 million for the six months to the end of September, a 9.5% deterioration on £289.5 million a year earlier.
But despite the lacklustre performance, shares in the retailer have powered ahead over the past year, including a sharp spike in recent weeks.
Its "Leading Ladies" campaign features a dozen high-profile women at locations including a boat on the River Thames and a country house in Berkshire, wearing dinner dresses, leather jackets, faux furs and stiletto heels from the ranges.
But while the chain's new autumn/winter collection began arriving in stores from July, the print, billboard and online campaign was only formally launched at the start of September.
Analysts at Deutsche Bank and Credit Suisse recently cut their general merchandise forecasts to negative for the quarter.
Credit Suisse analysts said while the autumn/winter ranges show "some signs of improvement", they will not be enough to transform underlying sales or margins.
Deutsche analysts now expect a 2% decline during its second quarter, compared with a previous forecast for flat sales.
However, the chain's clothing performance will contrast with its food business, which is expected to serve up a 3% gain in underlying sales.
Analysts at Shore Capital said : " We are nervous about the performance of the UK apparel business despite the high profile launch of the autumn/winter ranges due to the mild weather.
"M&S needs to show underlying market share progress in UK apparel, particularly given favourable comparatives, so providing the basis for the spring/summer offer to build on a stronger platform. Time will tell."
Car parts and bicycle business Halfords should report its fifth quarter of retail sales growth in a row on Thursday as Britain's renewed interest in cycling shows no sign of abating.
The group is set to follow an impressive first quarter, when retail sales leapt 8.8% higher, with further growth despite tough comparisons amid the Olympics a year earlier.
Halfords was boosted by a 15.5% jump in cycle sales in the first quarter, with brands endorsed by cycling heroes Chris Boardman and Victoria Pendleton contributing towards the improvement.
Analysts at Investec expect sales growth to slow marginally in the second quarter, leaving overall first half like-for-like retail sales 5.4% higher.
Half-year profits are predicted by most experts to fall around 9% to £38.3 million, but this would be an improvement on the 23% plunge seen a year earlier and 22% dive seen in its recent full-year results.
Andrew Fitchie at Investec said: "Despite last year's tough sporting comparatives, we expect continued interest in cycling and the sunshine to have positively influenced both cycling and travel categories in the first half."
The City will be keen for any progress update on the three-year turnaround plan being led by Halfords chief executive Matt Davies.
The former Pets at Home boss, appointed last year, has pledged to refresh tired-looking stores and improve customer service over the next three years, but also warned in May that earnings were unlikely to recover until 2016.
Supermarket Morrisons is set to reveal further sales pressure in its third quarter as its turnaround makes slow progress in luring in hard-pressed shoppers.
Retail analysts expect the fourth biggest grocery chain to report another quarter of declining like-for-like sales, down as much as 1.8% after a 1.4% slump in its first three months, according to Santander expert Tim Attenborough.
Recent market share figures showed Morrisons suffered a drop in market share to 11.2% in the 12 weeks to October 13 from 11.4% a year earlier.
But it was not the only group seeing its share fall back, with discounters Aldi and Lidl, Sainbury's and Waitrose among the only winners.
Morrisons said on posting a 22% dive in half-year profits that its customers were struggling under relentless pressure from stubbornly high inflation and poor wage growth.
Chief executive Dalton Philips is hoping a recovery plan will start to bear fruit as the group expands its network of convenience stores from 33 to around 100 by the end of its year, while it is also on track to start selling food online - through a tie-up with internet grocer Ocado - by the end of January.
Analysts at Oriel Securities said: "The stores are starting to look better and we expect extended opening hours to aid a return to the black in the fourth quarter, especially given how poor Morrisons' marketing was last year.
"It's not out of the woods yet but there are some green shoots."
Morrisons has also been fighting back with a major advertising push, led by a TV campaign starring Ant and Dec.
The supermarket was the highest spender on TV and press advertising so far this autumn, according to research by Nielsen.
It said the chain's TV and press ad spend stood at £5 million in the four weeks to October 12.
Insurance giant Aviva is likely to reveal the impact of the St Jude's storm on its finances when it updates on recent trading on Thursday.
The life and general insurer is set to report on the three months to the end of September, but could also give an early estimate of claims from the worst storm to hit Britain in several years.
While fellow insurer AA has said the size of claims has been smaller than previous major storms, the sector has been hit by a barrage of claims for damaged cars, lost tiles and fallen walls after winds of up to 99 miles per hour lashed southern England and Wales.
Meanwhile, the insurer is also expected to report more progress with its turnaround plan, which aims to save £400 million.
In April it revealed plans to axe around 2,000 jobs, equivalent to 6% of its global workforce.
Aviva could also reveal scope for more savings as it expands digitally and through automation.
Shares in the insurer have rallied strongly since the spring, increasing by almost 50% as the turnaround story wins over the City.
Analysts at JP Morgan said Aviva could report an increasingly upbeat story on cash flows as it simplifies the business.
They said: "Unwinding the old corporate structure into a new, simpler one, along with improving economic solvency bodes well for increasing cash remittances from subsidiaries to the holding company."
Budget retail chain Primark will cap off another impressive year when parent Associated British Foods reports on Tuesday after shrugging off volatile weather conditions.
The hot summer weather helped Primark overcome chillier conditions in the spring that had led to subdued sales growth, with the retailer expecting full-year like-for-like revenues to rise by close to 5%.
Its profit margins were also given a boost as the fashion firm was left marking down less stock due to strong summer trading.
Primark's robust fourth quarter performance saw AB Foods up expectations for second half earnings.
Analysts are now pencilling in a 3% rise in underlying pre-tax profits to around £1.1 billion for the year to September 14.
But this would come as a marked slowdown on the 25% hike seen in the half year, when Primark's comparable store sales surged by 7%.
The group said the surge was down to an "exceptional" start to the year, when Primark benefited from weak comparatives from a year earlier.
There is also hope for further decent trading at Primark after rival Next shrugged off worries over the impact of an unseasonally mild autumn.
Elsewhere in the business, its sugar division has seen earnings hit by losses in China, while trading has been more robust in the agriculture and ingredients divisions.
In grocery, which includes Twinings, Ryvita and Jordans cereals, underlying earnings are set show a "substantial improvement", according to a recent update by AB Foods.