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

" title="

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

" width="80" height="60" onclick="location.href='http://www.independent.co.uk/extras/indybest/food-drink/the-10-best-toasters-7583586.html';" class="" />

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.

Arts and Entertainment
Sydney and Melbourne are locked in a row over giant milk crates
art
News
Kenny Ireland, pictured in 2010.
peopleActor, from House of Cards and Benidorm, was 68
News
A scene from the video shows students mock rioting
newsEnd-of-year leaver's YouTube film features staging of a playground gun massacre
Travel
travel
Voices
A family sit and enjoy a quiet train journey
voicesForcing us to overhear dull phone conversations is an offensive act, says Simon Kelner
News
i100This Instagram photo does not prove Russian army is in Ukraine
News
Morrissey pictured in 2013
people
Sport
sportVan Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Environment
View from the Llanberis Track to the mountain lake Llyn
Du’r Arddu
environmentA large chunk of Mount Snowdon, in north Wales, is up for sale
Life and Style
Martha Stewart wrote an opinion column for Time magazine this week titled “Why I Love My Drone”
lifeLifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot... to take photos of her farm
Career Services

Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices