News Sales on Oxford Street in the run-up to Christmas reveal retailers' worries

Shop prices fell at their fastest rate on record in December, in a sign of intense competition on the high street over the crucial Christmas trading period.

Market Report: China news caps off a decidedly sober start to the year

They say that when the US sneezes, the rest of the world catches a cold. The same could easily said about China, which yesterday spooked global markets by publishing disappointing economic data.

House of Fraser eyes July float if Lafayette talks fail

House of Fraser could float on the stock market as soon as July, if exclusive talks with French department store Galeries Lafayette collapse.

Tom Hodgkinson: Who arrives at the door when the pig has been killed? The Methodist minister

When watching television with my children, I attempt  to keep up a stream of anti-consumerist propaganda. “The sole purpose of ITV,” I tell them, “is to sell advertising space to brands and make money for the owners.”

The 10 best Christmas jumpers

Subtle they're not, but these bright and bold festive pullovers will get you and your family (and maybe even the dog) in the Christmas spirit

<p><strong>1. Hobbs Alana Court</strong></p>
<p>Walk into any shoe shop in the country and you’re bound to see a
pair of leopard print heels, but this Italian pair is particularly gorgeous.
With a soft point, traditional d’Orsay design and a mid-heel, they will set off
your little black dress a treat.</p>
<p>£127.20, <a href=hobbs.co.uk

" title="

1. Hobbs Alana Court

Walk into any shoe shop in the country and you’re bound to see a pair of leopard print heels, but this Italian pair is particularly gorgeous. With a soft point, traditional d’Orsay design and a mid-heel, they will set off your little black dress a treat.

£127.20, hobbs.co.uk

" width="80" height="72" onclick="location.href='http://www.independent.co.uk/extras/indybest/fashion-beauty/stepping-out-10-best-party-shoes-for-christmas-8986453.html';" class="" />

Stepping out: 10 best party shoes for Christmas

You've got your Christmas party outfit sorted, but what about your shoes? We've got fancy footwear covered.

Savings wonderland: Christmas shoppers now have the gift of cashback

Play your cards right and save cash at Christmas

Making good use of your plastic, department store loyalty schemes and online offers could add to your festive cheer, says Chiara Cavaglieri

No pound signs: The John Lewis television ad is cuddly, cosy and ruthlessly efficient

The buzz around the new Christmas John Lewis advert is justified

This is not only the result of brilliant PR, but of a consistently excellent approach to its advertising

The Fashion Audit: Cashmere cosy / Fright night / Juice shot

What we love, we're not sure about, we're buying and can't wait for...

The Fashion Audit: Juliet's jewels, all tied up and designer duds

What we love, we're not sure about, we're buying and can't wait for...

DB Apparel, maker of the Shock Absorber range famously advertised by Anna Kournikova with the tag-line 'only the ball should bounce', has been accused of breaching anti-competition laws with three major department stores

OFT accuses retail giants of fixing price of sports bras

John Lewis, Debenhams and House of Fraser have been accused of price fixing Britain’s most popular sports bras by the Office of Fair Trading following a year-long investigation.

John Lewis, Debenhams and House of Fraser embroiled in sports bra price fixing accusations

Office of Fair Trading accuses retailers of entering into illegal anti-competition deals with retailer of the Shock Absorber range, famously marketed in adverts with Anna Kournikova, from 2008 to 2011

Shorts, flip-flops and online keep Debenhams growing

Strong online sales made up for a fall in shoppers coming through Debenhams’ doors, according to the department store’s latest figures.

What the Sunday Papers said

The Independent on Sunday: Wetherspoon workers to  share £22m bonus bonanza

Google's new Nexus 7 tablet launches in UK at £199 for 16GB model

Only the Wi-Fi version is currently available at the moment, with either 16GB or 32GB of onboard memory

If you don’t live in a warehouse but hanker after the concrete walls this faux concrete wall mural might be just what you need. Surface View Concrete III mural, from £35/sq metre, <a>surfaceview.co.uk</a>

iStyle: Hard and fast, concrete design

The quickest way to update your home is to add concrete to the mix, and from lamps to flooring, the high street has it covered. By Trish Lorenz

Voices
There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm tomorrow
Arts and Entertainment
James May, Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond in the Top Gear Patagonia Special
tv
News
Claudia Winkleman and co-host Tess Daly at the Strictly Come Dancing final
people
News
i100
Extras
indybest
News
peopleLiam Williams posted photo of himself dressed as Wilfried Bony
Sport
Martin Skrtel heads in the dramatic equaliser
SPORTLiverpool vs Arsenal match report: Bandaged Martin Skrtel heads home in the 97th-minute
Arts and Entertainment
Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
tvReview: 'Absolutely phenomenal' Xtra Factor presenter wins Strictly Come Dancing final
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The Apprentice finalists Mark Wright and Bianca Miller
tvBut who should win The Apprentice?
News
The monkey made several attempts to revive his friend before he regained consciousness
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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick