News Another storming performance from the value fashion chain Primark

Primark saw a 14 per cent increase in sales in the 16 weeks to 4 January

M&S reclaims top spot among clothing chains

Marks & Spencer has reclaimed its crown as the UK's biggest clothing retailer, but the market share of Bhs, its rival, has dived over the past year.

Business Diary: 13/03/2010

Asda's selective memory for figures

On Monday, George at Asda launched a 100-day returns policy across its clothing range to a great publicity fanfare.

George leads with 100-day returns

The clothing brand George at Asda today became the first retailer to offer customers a 100-day returns policy across its entire range, as it attempts to turn the screws on rivals Marks & Spencer, Tesco and Primark.

Business Diary: 06/03/2010

Primark's Ryan comes out of hiding

Arthur Ryan, chairman of Primark, hasn't been photographed in public since founding the chain in 1969. Now Mr Ryan's seclusion is over: after turning up to accept a gong at the Retail Week Awards at London's Grosvenor House on Thursday night, the septuagenarian stuck around and was spotted puffing away on a ciggie with pals outside the Park Lane hotel after midnight.

Leading article: Nation of shopkeepers

Move over Jamie Oliver. Sainsbury's has a new public advocate in the shape of the much-married South African President, Jacob Zuma. State visits don't normally include trips to supermarkets. But then, for good or ill, Mr Zuma is no normal head of state.

Business Diary: M&S loses ethics executive to Primark

Primark is so keen to enhance its ethical credentials that it has poached Libby Annat from Marks & Spencer. Annat, Primark's new senior ethical trade manager, may be able to provide some insight into just how many factories the two chains actually share. M&S has said just one clothing factory in 600 also supplies Primark, but industry sources say that including footwear and fashion accessories the number is 37.

Marks & Spencer sets out its sustainable stall

M&S, which aims to be the world's most sustainable retailer by 2015, made 80 new ethical and environmental pledges yesterday. It insists its policies make commercial and moral sense – but is its growing 'Plan A' project simply hype or a real effort to promote sustainability and save precious resources? James Thompson reports

Michael Winner: Big mouth strikes again

He usually arrives at restaurants in a private jet. What will Michael Winner make of the Golden Arches? Deborah Ross treats him

Primark shrugs off snow and downturn as sales storm ahead of high street rivals

The discount clothing retailer Primark has again showed high street rivals a clean pair of heels with storming half-year sales, following a bumper Christmas of trading in the UK and rapidly growing sales at its fledgling Spanish business.

Business Diary: Will M&S weather the storm like Primark?

Retailers from Asda to the DIY market leader B&Q have recently cited the near-Arctic conditions in January for a temporary dip in their performance. There was no such excuse needed from Associated British Foods-owned Primark yesterday, as the discount fashion chain posted another stunning set of numbers. ABF's finance chief, John Bason, said he could only conclude that the snow had only had a "limited impact". Given this, Diary will be most interested to see what M&S, right, says about the weather's impact on its sales, given chairman Sir Stuart Rose's famous assertion in 2006 that "weather is for wimps".

Market Report: Barclays wobbles amid capital concerns

Parts of the banking sector were unsettled last night, with Barclays falling back as the bears moved in on capital concerns.

John Hilary: Sweatshop workers pay the price for our bargains

The downward trend for clothes expenditure over the past decade is not because we are buying less. Far from it – the Noughties saw a vast surge in consumption levels of clothing and footwear. It is because the items themselves are so much cheaper now than they were10 years ago.

Shoes given the boot as recession hits spending

Bargain hunters buy more but spend less on 'throwaway' fashion, report reveals

Currys owner trounces City forecasts with strong sales

DSGi sells one computer and one television every two seconds in UK at Christmas

David Prosser: The price is right, but the offer isn't

Outlook What has happened to the discount grocers? A year ago, the rise of the likes of Aldi, Lidl and Netto seemed unstoppable, particularly in these troubled economic times. Yet the latest figures from TNS, the analysts, show that the discounters stood still or went backwards over the Christmas just gone.

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