Outlook WH Smith's Stephen Clarke, like Kate Swann before him, is to be commended. For if ever there was a high street chain that should exist no more, it was this.

Hamleys dumps chief executive

HAMLEYS, the toy retailer, yesterday announced the departure of its chief executive after a disappointing financial performance and a series of rumours that the company might be seeking a replacement.

WH Smith optimistic despite profits fall

WH SMITH yesterday reported a fall in first-half profits but cushioned the blow with upbeat comments about prospects for the core high street brand and its fledgling Internet service.

Home shopping service expands

OPEN, the former British Interactive Broadcasting, announced that WH Smith, the high street retailer, Manchester United football club, and the travel agency Going Places are to join its new entertainment and home shopping service to be launched this autumn.

WH Smith launches net service

WH SMITH has become the latest company to join the ranks of free Internet access providers with the launch of WHSmith Online, writes Nigel Cope.

The mission It's not how you play the game, it's the winning that counts. Matthew Sweet sets his sights on the star prize

Luck be a lady tonight - and, while you're at it a wheelbarrow full of cash would be nice

What Does It Take To Win A Literary Prize?: 250 Book Prizes - and still counting

THERE IS about to be a new literary prize. That fact alone will guarantee the pounds 30,000 Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction a place in a key literary work.

Beware of jumping on the Internet bandwagon

Marking up shares just because a company launches an Internet project is pushing it

WH Smith joins free Net battleground

WH SMITH yesterday jumped on the Internet bandwagon when it unveiled plans to launch a free Internet service and set up a website in conjunction with British Telecom and the Microsoft Network.

Outlook: Internet mania

THE MERE mention of the "I" word seems to be enough these days to rejuvenate a sagging share price. Judging by the effect on dear old WH Smith yesterday, more should try it. Its more than woolly announcement about teaming up with BT and Microsoft to launch another "free" Internet service provider was sufficient to propel the share price 11.4 per cent higher. Since Dixons launched Freeserve last September, the Dixons share price has more than doubled.

Comment: Poets win lots of prizes. But it isn't enough

When Ted Hughes died, there was a flurry of interest in his likely successor as poet laureate. Newspapers published lists of runners and riders; bookmakers quoted odds (Derek Walcott 4-1, Wendy Cope 5-2, Carol Ann Duffy 7-2, Andrew Motion 6-1); diarists recorded the reactions of the candidates. Since then, well, no one could say that we are awaiting the appointment with bated breath. The whole idea of official poetry seems anachronistic; modern verse seems like a private matter.

Letter: Posh talk in the Vic


Triumphant Bainbridge enunciates her mind

THE NOVELIST Beryl Bainbridge won a major literary prize yesterday and followed it with musings that are unlikely to be beaten for political incorrectness in the whole of the prize-giving season.

MFI chief quits after profit alert

MFI, the struggling flat-pack furniture group, was facing a fresh crisis yesterday after it issued another profits warning and replaced its chief executive.

Why do they all love Marcel?

Proust is definitely flavour of the month, hardly a week goes by without a new biography

Investment: WH Smith comeback hangs on its Net play

WH SMITH continued its recovery yesterday with a solid, if unspectacular Christmas trading statement that pushed the shares up 7.5p to 597.5p.
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Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
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'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
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A shot in the dark

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His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

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Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
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From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

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