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The gross payouts will be £2.25bn less in 2014 than in 2013

Comet's slide into the red forces Kesa to ready the for-sale sign

Kesa Electricals has admitted for the first time that it is considering selling off its Comet chain after the British company sank to a loss of nearly £9m last year.

Tim Lott: You'll be my Facebook Friend for ever. Or until the next fad ...

As thousands log out of computer camaraderie, Tim Lott admits his addiction to virtual relations

Royal Wedding boosted sales, but not for long

Economists urged "extreme caution" about reading too much into a strong rebound in retail sales last month, as chains were boosted by the hottest April on record, a glut of bank holidays and the Royal Wedding.

Dixons Retail touts sales of iPad 2 and big stores

Dixons Retail, the owner of the Currys and PC World chains, yesterday boasted soaring sales of Apple's latest iPad device and said its UK business had outperformed the market, despite the pan-European group suffering a slump in revenues in its second half.

Cadets in court over sex scandal

Two military cadets were arrested yesterday over a scandal in which a woman accused a fellow cadet of secretly filming her having sex and showing it to his comrades.

UK inflation unexpectedly drops to 4%

Inflation unexpectedly slowed last month, official figures revealed today, as hard-pressed retailers slashed prices to pull in cautious consumers.

HMV warns on profits again as troubles mount

Owner of entertainment chain may have to sell Waterstone's within two weeks

M&S set to add to high street gloom

Marks & Spencer is expected to add to the gloom on the high street tomorrow when the retail bellwether posts its fourth quarter trading update.

Retail shares down amid sales slump

Retailers came under mounting share pressure today as further gloomy sales figures confirmed dire conditions on Britain's high street.

Slight increase in retail sales

Retail sales have picked up unexpectedly in March, but the rate of growth remained subdued amid grim conditions on the high street, figures showed today.

Currys' owner issues profits alert

The owner of Currys and PC World issued its second profits alert in as many months today after worsening trading conditions saw sales tumble 11%.

Retriever wins Crufts



Winning Crufts is something that "always happens to someone else", the breeder of the Best in Show said.

Reality Hunger, By David Shields

Divided into 26 categories ("memory", "blur", "collage), this book is an assemblage of 617 verbal shards about the novel, originality and communication in a digitised world. Here's a taste: "Increasingly the novel goes hand in hand with a straitjacketing of the material's expressive potential."

Small Talk: Small businesses unimpressed by government help

The economic picture remains changeable. Public sector spending is facing the axe, and the Government is banking on the private sector to drive the economy forward. But is it doing enough to aid the small and medium-sized enterprises that are key to private sector strength? If the results of a new survey of more than 1,500 SMEs are anything to go by, the answer is an emphatic no.

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David Cameron sings a hymn during the enthronement service of The Most Rev Justin Welby as Archbishop of Canterbury, at Canterbury Cathedral last year
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From long to Jong: Guy Pewsey outside Mo Nabbach’s M&M Hair Academy in west London before the haircut
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Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

As the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian tells James Rampton why he'll never bow to the critics who habitually circle his work
Mad Men series 7, TV review: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge

Mad Men returns for a final fling

The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground as there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit

Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

Technology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit
Westminster is awash with tales of young men being sexually harassed - but it's far from being just a problem in politics

Is sexual harassment a fact of gay life?

Westminster is awash with tales of young men being sexually harassed - but it's far from being just a problem in politics
Moshi Monster creator Michael Acton Smith: The man behind a British success story

Moshi Monster creator Michael Acton Smith

Acton Smith launched a world of virtual creatures who took the real world by storm
Kim Jong-un's haircut: The Independent heads to Ealing to try out the dictator's do

Our journalist tries out Kim Jong-un's haircut

The North Korean embassy in London complained when M&M Hair Academy used Kim Jong-un's image in the window. Curious, Guy Pewsey heads to the hair salon and surrenders to the clippers
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A forgotten naval victory in which even Nature played a part

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A forgotten naval victory in which even Nature played a part
Vespa rides on with launch of Primavera: Iconic Italian scooter still revving up millions of sales

Vespa rides on with launch of the Primavera

The Vespa has been a style icon since the 1950s and the release this month of its latest model confirms it has lost little of its lustre
Record Store Day: Independent music shops can offer a tempting alternative to downloads

Record Store Day celebrates independent music shops

This Saturday sees a host of events around the country to champion the sellers of well-grooved wax
Taunton's policy of putting philosophy at heart of its curriculum is one of secrets of its success

Education: Secret of Taunton's success

Taunton School, in Somerset, is one of the country's leading independent schools, says Richard Garner
10 best smartphones

10 best smartphones

With a number of new smartphones on the market, we round up the best around, including some more established models
Mickey Arthur: Aussie tells ECB to stick with Ashley Giles

Mickey Arthur: Aussie tells ECB to stick with Ashley Giles

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Homelessness: Why is the supported lodgings lifeline under threat?

Why is the supported lodgings lifeline under threat?

Zubairi Sentongo swapped poverty in Uganda for homelessness in Britain. But a YMCA scheme connected him with a couple offering warmth and shelter
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: When the world’s biggest shed took over Regent’s Park

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

When the world’s biggest shed took over Regent’s Park
The pain of IVF

The pain of IVF

As an Italian woman vows to keep the babies from someone else’s eggs, Julian Baggini ponders how the reality of childbirth is often messier than the natural ideal