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.

<p><strong>1 Lakeland Digital</strong></p>
<p>This retro-look, brushed stainless steel toaster features nine settings, extra-wide slots for crumpets and bagels, a bread-lift function, a slide-out crumb tray and cord storage. Everything you need, in other words, to pop up slice after golden slice. It's available as atwo- or four-slice model.</p>
<p><em>£29.99, <a href=lakeland

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1 Lakeland Digital

This retro-look, brushed stainless steel toaster features nine settings, extra-wide slots for crumpets and bagels, a bread-lift function, a slide-out crumb tray and cord storage. Everything you need, in other words, to pop up slice after golden slice. It's available as atwo- or four-slice model.

£29.99, lakeland

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The 10 Best toasters

Don't get your fingers burnt by choosing the wrong model. Here are our top picks for grill-seekers

Next Directory sales hit £1bn as profits rise 16%

Retailer's results to show online business netted £257m last year

KitchenAid Artisan Stand Mixer

The 10 Best mixers

1. KitchenAid Artisan Stand Mixer

Apple goes Dutch with new Amsterdam store

Dutch shoppers flocked to the opening of their country's first Apple store, which opened in Amsterdam yesterday, ahead of the US company's expected launch of its new iPad 3 tablet on Wednesday. Apple chief executive Tim Cook will be making his first major product announcement since the death of founder Steve Jobs last year but the company has not confirmed whether this will be the new iPad.

Also showing: Hunky Dory, If Not Us, Who? andKhordorkovsky

Hunky Dory (109 mins, 15)

Brand Loyalty: John Lewis cardholders can earn 6.5% by investing in its five year corporate bond

John Lewis staff face bonus cut

Staff at John Lewis and Waitrose were today braced for their first bonus cut in three years as the employee-owned firm shows it is not immune from the economic downturn.

Darwin battles to secure Fenn Wright Manson survival

Fenn Wright Manson, the premium women's fashion chain, is battling to safeguard its future just 17 months after it was acquired by a private equity firm.

1. Champagne cork stool, Impulse Purchase, £99

Size matters: Sometimes it's worth thinking about the bigger picture

1. Champagne cork stool

Blazer £69, skirt £45, shirt £35, JLCollection Weekend

Something for the weekend, madam?

A new contemporary casualwear line from John Lewis aims to inject your off-duty wardrobe with a dash of sweetness and light, says Rebecca Gonsalves

Royal Retriever: Poke a bit of fun at royal fever with this bright Ben de Lisi red cushion
with black piping and a print of the popular French bulldog. £18, debenhams.com

Window Shopping: In the doghouse

What better tribute to our favourite furry friends than to immortalise them in chintz, swag, cushions, lighting and other items of a home's interior?

Retail sales boost after prices cut

Retail sales returned to growth in the run-up to Christmas but businesses were forced to slash prices to bring in cash-strapped consumers, official figures revealed today..

The 10 Best Pan Sets

1. Prestige Cuisine

Peacocks edges closer to the brink of collapse

Peacocks, the debt-laden discount clothing retailer, yesterday filed a notice of intention to appoint administrators, threatening up to 11,000 jobs

Leading article: Not every business can be like John Lewis

The Liberal Democrat leader must take care not to apply the lesson too widely

The 10 Best bed linen

1. TU

From £30, sainsburys.co.uk

No need to hunt for matching accessories with this "bed in a bag", that has a duvet cover, pillowcases, cushion and cover and runner.

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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 20 February 2015
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003
Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Alexander McQueen: The catwalk was a stage for the designer's astonishing and troubling vision

Alexander McQueen's astonishing vision

Ahead of a major retrospective, Alexander Fury talks to the collaborators who helped create the late designer's notorious spectacle
New BBC series savours half a century of food in Britain, from Vesta curries to nouvelle cuisine

Dinner through the decades

A new BBC series challenged Brandon Robshaw and his family to eat their way from the 1950s to the 1990s
Philippa Perry interview: The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course

Philippa Perry interview

The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef recreates the exoticism of the Indonesian stir-fry

Bill Granger's Indonesian stir-fry recipes

Our chef was inspired by the south-east Asian cuisine he encountered as a teenager
Chelsea vs Tottenham: Harry Kane was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope

Harry Kane interview

The striker was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope
The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?