Robert Collins, manager and Christina O'Connor, staff member,  at The Store Yard , Portlaoise. Photograph: Eric Luke

(...) letter, card and email. It was a tough job for the judges, Simon Pratt of Avoca; retail consultant Eddie(...)

 A businessman watches a display showing global stock markets  in Tokyo. Photograph:  EPA/KIMIMASA MAYAMA

(...) finally spending a bit more. Retail sales in July, excluding car sales, were 6.6 per cent higher in volume(...)

Ups and downs: stock-market prices at a Chinese securities firm. Photograph: AFP/Getty

(...).” Indeed, retail sales are still climbing, up 10.5 per cent from July compared with last year. And the(...)

Extraordinary ups and downs: reporters on the trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange say they have experienced some of the strangest days they have seen in decades.  Photograph: Spencer Platt/Getty

(...). The economy created more than 50,000 jobs over the past year, unemployment is falling and retail sales(...)

Retail sales jumped 11.6 per cent in July, the largest monthly rise in 10 years, as new car sales(...)

 Hermes International, the French luxury handbag maker, reported a 20 percent increase in first-half earnings as sales growth accelerated in Japan. Photo: Bloomberg

Hermes International, the French luxury handbag maker, reported a 20 percent increase in first-half earnings as sales growth accelerated in Japan and (...)

Blaine Callard, Harvey Norman’s Irish chief executive, appears to have turned operation around. Photograph: Alan Betson

Blaine Callard, the chief executive in Ireland of the Aussie retail chain Harvey Norman, hosted a(...)

Niall Hanley: his most recent venture is a beer garden with 366 beers on tap and 144 of them are from North Carolina

(...) has become a mixture of government buildings, offices, retail spaces, bars and restaurants in recent(...)

Overheating: an investor cools herself as she monitors share prices at a securities firm in Shanghai. China’s key indices lost a fifth of their value and wiped out nearly all of this year’s gains in six days. Photograph: Stringer/AFP/Getty

(...) very high savings rate in China, huge foreign reserves and retail sales are still climbing, up 10.5 per(...)

 An information board shows the decline of the German DAX to a one-year low at the stock exchange in Frankfurt: Germany’s stock markets, among other international markets, have fallen into bear markets. Photograph:  Christoph Schmidt/EPA

(...) international investors. The Chinese market is a casino, a speculative haven dominated by retail investors. A(...)