High Streets are facing a make-or-break Christmas as shoppers desert stores and flock online.

A report published today reveals sales of clothing and homeware in shops slumped over the past three months ahead of the crucial festive period (The Daily Mail). Almost one in five of us has already done almost all the Christmas shopping. Some 18% of Britons are reckoned to have bought most of their gifts by the end of October - a much higher proportion than any of our European neighbours (The BBC).

More than 350 jobs have been lost at Crawshaw Group after the Yorkshire-based chain of butchers went into administration and shut two-thirds of its stores (The Guardian). Some 354 workers have lost their job at meat retailer Crawshaw as the company shut down 35 stores and one distribution centre (The Daily Mail). UK butchers chain Crawshaw Group has appointed Ernst & Young as administrators and is shutting 35 stores, in the latest example of the long-term decline of traditional high-street businesses. (The Financial Times £)

Three Lincolnshire farmers are due to share in more than £20 million after their crisps company Pipers was acquired by Pepsico. (The Times £)

Lidl is once again boosting hourly wages for its 17,000 employees as part of its “ongoing commitment” to supporting employees, the discount supermarket said. (The Telegraph)

What’s good news for the low-paid may be bad in long run for retailers, writes Juliet Samuel in The Telegraph (£). “We know that high streets are under pressure from business rates and online shopping. But in the background, there’s also another source of pressure: the inexorably rising minimum wage.”

Pioneering fair trade retailer Traidcraft, which had warned it was facing closure, has launched a turnaround plan that involves targeting younger ethical consumers. (The Guardian)

Halloween has been and gone but Amazon’s plan to offer free shipping to all its US customers during the holiday season has spooked investors. (The Financial Times £)