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
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 30 January 2015
Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee