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.

Life and Style
“What is it like being a girl?” was the question on the lips of one inquisitive Reddit user this week
News
peopleDave Legeno, the actor who played werewolf Fenrir Greyback in the Harry Potter films, has died
Arts and Entertainment
Armando Iannucci, the creator of 'The Thick of It' says he has
tvArmando Iannucci to concentrate on US show Veep
Life and Style
beauty
Sport
Luis Suarez looks towards the crowd during the 2-1 victory over England
transfers
Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur
fashion

Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

Sport
German supporters (left) and Argentina fans
world cup 2014Final gives England fans a choice between to old enemies
Arts and Entertainment
A still from the worldwide Dawn of the Planet of the Apes trailer debut
film
News
peopleMario Balotelli poses with 'shotgun' in controversial Instagram pic
News
A mugshot of Ian Watkins released by South Wales Police following his guilty pleas
peopleBandmates open up about abuse
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel Shop See all offers »
India and Nepal
14 nights from £2,159pp Find out more
Dutch Masters
five nights from £679pp Find out more
La Robla and Rioja
nine nights from £1599pp Find out more
Classical Spain
six nights from £539pp Find out more
California and the Golden West
14 nights from £1,599pp Find out more
Bruges
three nights from £259pp Find out more
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice