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.

Businesses urged to 'radically change' way they promote women

The Davies report calls on leading firms to fill one in four board positions with women by 2015 – or face compulsory quotas

John Lewis chief warns against rise in interest rates

John Lewis's managing director has urged the Bank of England not to raise interest rates amid retail fears over how a rate increase would affect consumer confidence.

John Lewis store boost for Birmingham

John Lewis is to build a new store next to one of the country's biggest railway stations, creating 650 jobs, it was announced today.

Waitrose to test foreign markets with far-flung franchise partners

Supermarket chain to capitalise on expat communities in South Africa, Australia and the Far East

Retail sales rebound as confidence returns

Retail sales rebounded strongly last month after heavy snowfall hit trading on the high street in December, but industry experts have warned that consumers face "serious headwinds" in the months ahead.

Market Report: Bid talk and profit hopes see Centrica charge up

Bullish comments on its profitability, coupled with continuing speculation of a takeover bid, helped Centrica power its way up the blue-chip index last night.

Fears of a double-dip recession fade as retail sales rise in January

Experts still expect a testing year ahead despite positive figures

John Lewis sees sales rise ahead of VAT increase

John Lewis has delivered its biggest weekly sales rise so far this financial year, as it benefited from a surge in shopper numbers ahead of the 4 January VAT rise.

Celebrity chefs ensure home baking enjoys a big rise

Take two years of recession, add a fashion for cupcakes and the result is well-risen sales of home-baking equipment. Sales of bakeware have more than doubled over the past two years and decorating and icing products are up by about 70 per cent year on year.

House of Fraser bucks Christmas retail trend

Department store House of Fraser has beaten rival John Lewis by posting an 8.5 per cent rise in underlying sales over the festive period – the second year running it has broken records.

Margareta Pagano: Stop blaming the weather and get your thermals on

The winners and losers on the high street

Austerity-hit retailers widen north-south gap

Stores look to ease pressure by concentrating on more affluent – and profitable – southern counties

Department store's sales soar by 7.6 per cent

The department store group John Lewis has emerged as one of the big winners of the Christmas battle on the high street after underlying sales soared 7.6 per cent over the past five weeks.

James Thompson: Doom and gloom – but the high street isn't dead yet

The Christmas trading period is the time when the City gets the chance to slot retailers into the winners and losers enclosure in terms of their trading performance.

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Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

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German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

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Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
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Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
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Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
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Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
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There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
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Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
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The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
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Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform