It is the best of times, if you're John Lewis, it is the worst of times, if you're Marks & Spencer. These two titans of British retail are going through very different experiences. John Lewis continues to grow robustly whereas poor M&S, despite the strength of its food business, desperately needs to turnaround its declining, core clothing business.
People are angry with banks - they have every right to be after all the scandals that have engulfed the sector. Our small and medium-sized members often feel that the bank will do what is best for itself, rather than the customer. But a thriving economy is dependent on a healthy banking system and banking won't be healthy without trust.
If I hadn't seen the drop-dead gorgeous dresses in their A/W collection - many with the kind of sleeves most grown-up women crave - I might be less excited by her announcement. But Ms Earl, 51, brings back to M&S that intangible something - call it class, call it good taste, call it style - which has been so sorely lacking in the past decade.