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.

Poundstretcher buys Alworths

Poundstretcher has stepped in to salvage Alworths, dubbed the "son of Woolworths", which tumbled into administration in March.

Kate and Wills effect produces cucumber spike

Hard-pressed Britain celebrates The Wedding with a £500m splurge on all things patriotic

Sales of shorts soar – but do we wear them well?

The recent spell of hot weather has sent British men to the shops in record numbers, report James Buckley and Lauren Allain

Business Diary: Where have all the men gone?

Our congratulations to the 16 personal assistants named yesterday on the shortlist for the Hays PA of the Year Award.

Retailers report struggling profits

The fragile state of the UK economic recovery was underlined today after Halfords and Carpetright served a double dose of retail woe.

The 50 Best kitchen appliances

Kate Watson-Smyth cooks up a culinary shopping list for gadget-loving foodies

Market Report: Victrex benefits from takeover spotlight

The prospect of Victrex becoming a bid target was highlighted yesterday as positive broker comments helped the high-tech plastics company to surge up the mid-tier index.

John Lewis raises £50m in bonds

John Lewis Partnership, the group behind the eponymous department store and grocer Waitrose, has reached its target of raising £50m through a bond issue more than three weeks ahead of its final deadline.

Debenhams posts resilient half-year profits figures

Debenhams moved closer to reinstating its dividend yesterday after it posted a resilient set of half-year sales and profits, despite the dire weather before Christmas and lower footfall on the high street since early January.

John Lewis plans online deliveries in 27 countries

John Lewis is looking to extend its online home-delivery service to 27 countries, including the US and Australia, by August, the group behind the department-store chain said yesterday as it delivered a 20 per cent jump in pre-tax profits.

John Lewis profits fund 18% staff bonuses

Thousands of John Lewis partners were today celebrating a bonus windfall worth nearly two months' pay as the company defied a gloomy spell for retailers.

David Prosser: The bankers are fighting back everywhere you look

It is becoming clearer by the day that Bob Diamond meant exactly what he said when he told MPs thetime for remorse from bankers was over

John Lewis tipped to post £350m profit and increase staff bonus

Market waits for updates on retailer's expansion plans and on Morrisons chief's new strategy

John Lewis staff set for bonus windfall

Employees at the John Lewis Partnership (JLP) are expected to toast an annual bonus payment of at least 15 per cent of salary when the retail group unveils its full-year results on Wednesday.

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Radamel Falcao
footballManchester United agree loan deal for Monaco striker Falcao
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A man shoots at targets depicting a portrait of Russian President Vladimir Putin, in a shooting range in the center of the western Ukrainian city of Lviv
voicesIt's cowardice to pretend this is anything other than an invasion
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The eyes have it: Kate Bush
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Fifi Trixibelle Geldof with her mother, Paula Yates, in 1985
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Mario Balotelli in action during his Liverpool debut
football ...but he can't get on the scoresheet in impressive debut
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'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
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Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

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Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
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Neil Lawson Baker interview

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The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

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Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
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The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
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She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
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Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
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A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

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Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

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Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor