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

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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

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 12 March 2015
No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor