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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Mickey Rourke celebrates his victory against opponent Elliot Seymour
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Gordon and Tana Ramsay arrive at the High Court, London
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Actor Burt Reynolds last year
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Johnny Handle, Northumberland, Ted Relph, President of Lakeland Dialect Society, and Sid Calderbank, Lancashire, founder of the National Dialect Day
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The data shows that the number of “unlawfully” large infant classes has doubled in the last 12 months alone
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Arts and Entertainment
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sportRio Ferdinand returns from his three-game suspension today
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The Speaker of the House will takes his turn as guest editor of the Today programme
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Prices correct as of 28 November 2014
Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

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Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

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Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

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Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game