Pub operators Wear Inns on the acquisition trial as turnover grows to £13.4m

The County Durham pub group operates 26 venues across the North East and Yorkshire

Inn Collection Group adds to expanding portfolio

Growing hospitality firm Inn Collection Group has spent £400,000 on transforming a popular North Yorkshire pub

Record year for Mike Ashley's Sports Direct

Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley's Sports Direct empire has enjoyed a surge in sales and profits with group revenue at £2.7bn

Former Julie's nightclub: What new owner Rachel Frame has planned

Businesswoman Rachel Frame has returned to her native North East to launch a nightclub venture on Newcastle Quayside

UK shoppers cut back on spending

The latest retail sales index from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) and KPMG showed that like-for-like sales fell 0.8% compared with a year ago, with total sales when including shops open for less than a year up just 0.6%

Leisure group Whitbread set to extend sales run

Whitbread is expected to continue its record of strong growth but Debenhams will be under pressure to deliver better news after profit warnings.

Marks & Spencer turnaround progress in the spotlight this week

The pressure on Marks & Spencer boss Marc Bolland will intensify tomorrow when the retail chain announces a fall in profits

Positive results for leading pub company Enterprise Inns Plc

Enterprise Inns has reported like-for-like net income growth of 1.1%

Marks & Spencer turnaround will be centre stage this week

Marks & Spencer is this week set to report another disappointing quarter for its embattled clothing division

Vianet expect pre-exceptional profits to reach £3m

Stockton-based Vianet said trading for the second half of the year is expected to be broadly in line with expectations, and recurring income and prospects for the year ahead have given the Board confidence in maintaining the proposed final dividend at 4p

Newcastle's Pitcher and Piano sold for £7.5m

Newcastle's Pitcher and Piano bar, on the Quayside, has been sold to a Southern pension fund for £7.5m

Next set for milestone results

Fashion chain Next is set to mark a milestone on Thursday when results are expected to show annual profits overtaking those of high street bellwether Marks & Spencer for the first time in its history

Britain's high streets hit by weather washout

Like-for-like sales dropped by 1% in February compared to the same period in 2013, as poor weather took its toll on town centre stores, according to figures from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) and KPMG

Metrocentre announces £11m extension plan

New operators are heading to the Metrocentre after planning permission was granted for an extension

Sales of fairtrade products in the UK up 14% to £17.8bn

The Fairtrade Foundation published the details at the start of Fairtrade Fortnight, the annual event marking the huge number of products sold under the fairtrade label

Dixons Retail Group in talks with Carphone Warehouse

The owner of PC World and Currys has revealed it is in talks with mobile phone retailer Carphone Warehouse about a potential merger

Shares soar as Sports Direct posts profits lift

Mike Ashley's clothing empire Sports Direct is toasting a surge in profits after higher sales over Christmas

Punch Taverns pulls out of debt vote

Punch Taverns admitted defeat yesterday in its attempt to convince lenders to back a controversial plan for tackling its £2.3bn debt mountain

Business Supplement: The Leisure Industry - Looking ahead

Looking ahead to the region's Leisure Industry and what 2014 has in store for our pubs, restaurants, hotels and attractions

Punch Taverns in call for debt deal support

Pubs group Punch Taverns has urged its lenders to swallow a controversial restructuring deal to slash its £2.3bn debt mountain or face default

Leisure venture creates 50 new jobs for North East

A new leisure venture owned and operated by North East businesswoman, Joanne Bannatyne is creating more than 50 new jobs in the region

Washington pub revamp set to create up to 15 new jobs

The former Chevys pub in Emerson Road, Washington, is currently owned by Punch Taverns and will now become Champs after the revamp

Sonnet 43 Brew House targets £10m turnover after first year's success

County Durham microbrewery and leisure firm, Sonnet 43 Brew House,  has unveiled plans to more than double its workforce and take turnover to £10m within five years

Strong festive period brings joy to Bridges retailers

Developer Land Securities reported a strong third quarter including a successful festive period at its Wearside shopping complex The Bridges

UK consumers 'gloomy despite recovery'

Consumers are little more confident about their own finances than they were a year ago despite more optimism that the economy is improving

Burberry sees demand soar in China

Soaring demand for luxury goods in China and online growth helped Burberry beat the trend of declining high street footfall as it posted a 12% like-for-like sales increase over the key Christmas period

Argos reveals best Christmas performance for more than 10 years

Argos revealed its best Christmas performance for more than 10 years after making further progress in its plan to become a digital-led retailer

Aldi and Lidl increase market share over Christmas period

Aldi and Lidl dramatically increased their market share over the Christmas period as £1 in every £14 in grocery spending went to the discount retailers

Christmas high street shopping rush dropped off

The Christmas high street shopping rush thinned out again last year after footfall in December dropped 3.7% compared with 2012 as consumers increasing

UK shop prices tumble

Shop prices fell at their fastest rate for at least seven years last month as high street shops and supermarkets resorted to aggressive discounting to boost festive sales

Personal Contract Purchase scheme boosts new car sales

A special finance scheme growing in popularity is helping to boost new car sales, which have risen to their highest level in six years

Drinks giant Diago bids to sell Whyte & Mackay business

Drinks giant Diageo is to offload most of its whisky business Whyte & Mackay amid fears that its continued ownership could drive up prices for drinkers

1,100 jobs in pipeline at Edinburgh Woollen Mill

Retail business Edinburgh Woollen Mill, which bought the chain out of administration in March 2012, said around 100 of the new posts will be created at Peacocks as part of the revival of the 440-store brand

North East service sector optimism growing

Service sector firms are feeling bullish about their prospects following a second successive quarter of solid growth in activity, according to the CBI's quarterly Service Sector Survey

Housing market is boost for Barker and Stonehouse furniture retailer

The booming housing market has brought optimism to furniture retail group Barker and Stonehouse which has posted lifts in sales and profits

Inn Collection Topco secures £6.5m financing package

Leisure firm Inn Collection Topco has secured a £6.5m financing package to buy a collection of four successful North East pubs

DVD rental chain Blockbuster goes into administration

Struggling DVD rental chain Blockbuster faces being broken up by Christmas after it formally went into administration yesterday - for the second time this year

Furniture Clinic on course for growth after US expansion

Leather specialists Furniture Clinic are on course for significant growth after expanding into the US

UK spending fears rise as shopper numbers fall

Numbers of shoppers suffered the heaviest fall for six months in September to trigger fresh worries about the health of consumer spending

Top buyer leaves struggling Marks & Spencer

Efforts to repair flagging clothing sales at Marks & Spencer have been dealt another blow by the departure of a key womenswear executive


David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer