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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The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
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?