Welcome to 2009, ye gentlemen and lady grocers, year of despair and hopelessness. It pains me to say this but don't believe the false dawns offered by the Christmas footfall statistics.

But fear not! Your faithful servants at DRIP remain poised to dispense invaluable nuggets of wisdom to the ailing grocery trade, and thus it is that I present a selection from Dr Pumsey's Retail Casebook.

Q: I run a vast and decreasingly successful retail empire from a disused tyre factory near Enfield. In the past I was hailed as a genius by everyone from El Gordo to Des O'Connor, but recently my approval ratings have begun to sag. What can I do? - Bewildered, Cuffley

A: I feel your pain, Bewildered, as do many former shopkeepers across the land. But try to see the bigger picture. Stevie G has shown it's possible (allegedly) to act the Scouse scally but come up smelling of Brut. So can you.

Q: I ran a fabulously profitable outfit flogging bog-standard products at inflated prices to the gullible middle classes. Now I'm left feeling deeply bitter . Will the taxpayer protect my margins? - Fatso, Bracknell

A: Sorry, Fatso. While investing £50 billion in our top-class banks is clearly a rock-solid investment, Government policy is that the retail sector can go to hell.

Q: Bij Morrisons vindt u alle ingrediënten voor een whippetviering. Feest u met een grote groep, u kunt volop inspiratie opdoen op! - Klootzak, Bradford

A: Mrs Rolfe, please could you refer Mr Klootzak to the DRIP psychiatrist?

No room to print your question I'm afraid, Lonely of Leamington Spa. But Taste the Difference Viagra is not the answer. Try cold showers and bromide.