Top stories this week included the latest UK sales figures, a look at the troubles plaguing Talbots and forecasts suggesting that cotton production is set to decline next season.

UK: November retail sales weakest since May
UK retail sales fell 1.6% in November on a like-for-like basis according to figures released today (6 December), making this the weakest monthly sales performance since May.

Sullivan departs as Talbots nears the crossroads
The markets can be unforgiving to the point of brutality. Four years after she took the helm at troubled women's wear retailer The Talbots, the announcement of Trudy Sullivan's impending departure was greeted with a 6% rise in the company's share price - a welcome boost for a stock that has plunged by well over 80% in the past year.

WORLD: Cotton production set to decline next season
Cotton experts have lowered their estimates for cotton production for next season as falling prices lead farmers to focus on alternative crops - but say rising mill use and lower cotton prices could fuel a rebound in world cotton trade.

FRANCE: Just one bid received for lingerie maker Lejaby
Just one offer had been received for French lingerie maker Lejaby when the deadline for bids expired last Wednesday (30 November).

US: Michael Kors to raise $792.3m in IPO listing
Upmarket US fashion brand Michael Kors intends to list on the New York Stock Exchange through an IPO.