News The low road: Small shops in town centres such as Dartford, Kent, are struggling

Government rejects claim by a new study that small businesses are being sacrificed to big out-of-town developments – in spite of Town Centre First policy

Protests as PM sacks Mark Prisk, Minister for High Streets

Mark Prisk is ousted just six months after setting up action group to revive struggling retailers

Mary Portas and Bill Grimsey in high street battle

Retail expert Mary Portas will mount a vigorous defence of her efforts to revitalise the high street in front of MPs today.

Technology should be embraced, not feared

There are more than 40,000 empty shops across the UK, and for many people a trip to the high street is not an enjoyable experience. But it could be so much better.

In the future shops might contain no stock but allow one to view it by means of holograms

Editorial: Time to rethink the high street

We do not want to end up, as much of America has done, with sterile suburbs

Mary Portas' plan 'could drain high street'

New rules designed to reinvigorate the country's high streets could see them overrun with betting shops and payday loan companies, the Local Government Association (LGA) has warned.

'Portas Pilots' high street update to be delayed

The Government appears to have delayed publishing a progress  report on the towns which received taxpayer money to revitalise their local high streets until later this year.

Profit warning: Dr Gloria Moss warns that high streets need to attract women

Shopping? It's all in the gender

Paul Bignell discovers a simple truth – women hold the key to the regeneration of the high street

'Personality' of towns is key factor in growth

Town centres must stop just trying to copy Oxford Street if they are to recover from the economic crisis, according to a Business Department-backed report to be launched this week.

Who on earth actually thinks Mary Portas is the solution to the crisis on our high streets?

Irreversible changes in consumer behaviour, disruptive technologies, and recession are together destroying our High Streets. I know, send for the Queen of Shops!

Editorial: Gimmicks won't save our high streets

News of a major British high street retailer announcing thousands of job cuts or going into administration comes round with depressing regularity. Earlier this week, the fashion chain Republic took the latter course, following Blockbusters, HMV and Jessops into a place of no return.

Editorial: Don't let HMV drown in the Amazon

Of the recent high street collapses, none has had quite the impact on the national consciousness as that of HMV. People remember where they were when they bought a record in a way that they don't when the purchase is a fridge, or even a camera, regrettable though the demise of both Comet and Jessops has been.

TV pick of the week: The Town Taking on China, Tuesday, 8pm, BBC2

Television Choices: Textile boss's bid to cushion the blow of recession

TV pick of the week: The Town Taking on China

Last Night's Viewing: Love Life, ITV1<br />Mary's Bottom Line, Channel 4

I think one big problem for the couples in Love Life, ITV's new romantic drama, is that they're absolutely lousy at buying Christmas presents for each other. We got not just one but two flashback unwrapping scenes in last night's opening episode, neatly employed by the writer Bill Gallagher to fill out the relationship dynamics but unfortunately only at the cost of making the characters look like complete idiots. Here's Joe, for example, unwrapping his gift from long-term girlfriend, Lucy. What has he got? Oh, that's so thoughtful. A memory foam pillow and a book of pudding recipes. Is it possible that Lucy is trying to send a message about domestication and nest-building? Never mind, perhaps Joe will do a bit better with his present for Lucy. No, seems not. She's got a pair of high-altitude climbing gloves, which is very clearly what adventurer Joe wants her to want, rather than what she actually does. Then again, Joe is a paragon of selfless generosity when compared to Dominic, whose wife tugs aside the decorative wrapping paper to find a brochure on adoption. Nice one, Dominic. There was an outside chance that she might forget her traumatic childlessness for at least one day of the year, but you've blown that.

We still love the shops

Despite reports of the high street's 'death spiral', young people still want to go out shopping. Gideon Spanier reports

Retail guru Wrigley says the high street is in a 'death spiral'

The former chairman of the fashion retailer New Look has said the high street is in an "death spiral" and has recommended re-classing empty shops for residential use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 23 January 2015
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

Diana Krall interview

The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

Pinstriped for action

A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine
Michael Calvin: How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us

Michael Calvin's Last Word

How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us