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="" />

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

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KitchenAid Artisan Stand Mixer

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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

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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

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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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