The 50 Best; SUMMER SALES OF THE CENTURY

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The Independent Culture
Scrum down! It's time to bend your backs and get stuck in, as stores around the country discount their wares and perfectly decent folk develop behavioural problems. But don't get mad, get ahead. Let our shopping guru, Diona Gregory, help you to emerge from the maelstrom a better person (and better equipped with everything you fancy, from a cashmere cardi to a Hilti bolt gun)

1

HABITAT

For relaxed, stylish furniture, Habitat's sale is always a good bet. This summer, a traditional Maxine three-seater sofa is reduced from pounds 1,299 to pounds 1,099; the Fifties-inspired Azzana armchair from pounds 349 to pounds 299; and the Rialto double bed is half-price at pounds 220. Heaps of home-accessories bargains, too - look out for Vietnamese midnight-blue ceramic planters, and lightweight garden furniture in cool aqua shades.

Started: Thur 17 June.

Ends: around 15 July.

Where: 40 stores nationwide; for your nearest, call 0845 601 0740.

2

JIGSAW WOMENSWEAR

Jigsaw's always quick out of the blocks to offer the latest designer trends at high-street prices. Sale purchases will still have some street cred; you won't be fobbed off with last year's discontinued stock. Look out for timeless pieces including linen, knitwear, floral prints and cotton jersey. There should be lots of T-shirts and vests included, unless, of course, we have a prolonged heatwave before August.

Starts: beginning of August.

Ends: to be confirmed.

Where: 32 stores nationwide; for your nearest, call 0171-491 4484.

3

JIGSAW MENSWEAR

Confident, fairly timeless separates and simple suits in white, grey, black and all shades of blue. In the general scheme of things they're unlikely to set the pulse racing, but the sale might just, with discounts on the majority of the current season's stock. Look out for sleeveless T-shirts, paper (Aertex) shirts, cagoules, hooded zip jackets and drawstring shirts.

Starts: beginning of August.

Ends: to be confirmed.

Where: 15 stores nationwide; for your nearest branch, call 0171-499 2521.

4

HARVEY NICHOLS

If you are looking for bargains in Gucci or Prada, sweetie, Harvey Nichols in Leeds (not Knightsbridge) is the place for you. Both stores, though, will be offering head-turning discounts of up to 50 per cent on high-profile brands such as Dries Van Noten, Helmut Lang, Dolce and Gabbana, and Marni.

Starts: probably 10am, Wed 30 June.

Ends: three to four weeks.

Where: Knightsbridge, London W1 (0171-235 5000); 107-111 Briggate, Leeds LS1 (0113-204 8888).

5

KITSCHEN SYNC

Small and perfectly formed, this grotto of kitsch delights those shoppers who see any plain surface as a challenge. Their sale includes garden furniture at one-third off (their Mexican Corona chairs were featured on The Independent's Shopping page in May); fabulous multi-coloured King Size Chandeliers from India marked down from pounds 79 to pounds 50; funky summer bags from Guatemala reduced by 33 per cent; and 25 per cent off glassware.

Started: Mon 14 June.

Ends: Wed 7 July.

Where: 9 The Pavement, Clapham Common, London SW4 (0171-652 1070).

6

DESIGNERS GUILD

The best bargains to be had in the sale at Tricia Guild's King's Road stores are bedlinen sets (but probably not this season's cool-hued range), and there will be 30-50 per cent off bed and bath products, accessories and tableware. At the warehouse, look for good discounts on wallpaper and fabrics, floor cushions, blankets, tablelinen and children's accessories.

Starts: Sat 3 July; 10am shops, 9am warehouse

Ends: Sat 17 July (shops), Sun 18 July (warehouse).

Where: 267-271 & 275-277 King's Rd, London SW3 (0171-351 5775); the warehouse is at 6-8 Relay Rd, London W12 (0171-243 7300).

7

DIESEL

The place for logos a-go-go: branded goods with a capital "D". Their style is highly retro and often spectacularly outrageous - perfect clothes for clubbing. Like Gap, they have a rapid turnaround on their stock, but, unlike Gap, they still have a grand summer sale rather than just cutting the prices on discontinued lines. The best bargains will be on leather and holiday wear, with prices cut by up to 50 per cent. Kids' clothes will also be reduced.

Starts: 10am, Thur 1 July.

Ends: beginning of August.

Where: Glasgow, Manchester, Birmingham & London - call 0171-497 5543 for details.

8

URBAN OUTFITTERS

The store that offers all you need to master life in the city, but which doesn't take itself too seriously. Everything in the sale will be reduced to half price. So snap up designer togs such as G Star Jeans at pounds 30, and Duffer of St George zip-up tops at around pounds 35. There will also be discounts on soft furnishings - fleece and suedette cushions and throws - chrome picture frames, sleek cube candles and table lamps.

Starts: third week in July.

Ends: three weeks later.

Where: 36-38 Kensington High St, London W8 (0171-761 1000).

9

SELFRIDGES

Ninety years young this year, Selfridges is striving to re-establish itself as the premier metropolitan department store. After watching the TV documentary on it, I'm yet to be convinced, but it certainly throws a good sale. Many designer clothes are reduced by 30-50 per cent, and a few shoe lines by up to 75 per cent. Then there's 50 per cent off ready- made curtains (London only), bedlinen and Royal Doulton china; plus 30 per cent off Le Pentole pans in stainless steel. Starts: Thur 1 July; 9am London, 10am Manchester. Ends: Sat 31 July. Where: 400 Oxford St, London W1 (0171-629 1234); 1 The Dome, Trafford Centre, Manchester (0161- 629 1234).

10

IAN MANKIN

Indian and English 100 per cent cotton furnishing fabric cheap enough to encourage excess in the most fervent minimalist. The two London shops specialise in plain or striped materials, the majority of which will be discounted by 10-15 per cent during the sale. Indian Canvas, Canvas Check and Pacific Plain fabrics will be half-price. (The sale does not apply to mail-order trade.)

Starts: 10am, Mon 5 July.

Ends: Sat 31 July.

Where: 109 Regents Park Rd, London NW1 (0171-722 0997); 271 Wandsworth Bridge Rd, London SW6 (0171-371 8825). HEAL'S

You can't beat Heal's for contemporary yet classic designs for every corner of the modern home. They'll be selling off discontinued lines at up to 50 per cent discount, but you can also save on some of this season's most covetable items. Furniture will be discounted by up to 15 per cent - their fabulous Wild large sofa covered in Lincoln hide will be pounds 2,062 (was pounds 2,425). Head to their flagship Tottenham Court Road store for huge reductions on slightly damaged funiture, ex-showroom stock and buyers' samples.

Started: Thur 24 June. Ends: Sun 25 July.

Where: 196 Tottenham Court Rd, London W1; 234 King's Rd, London SW3; Tunsgate, Guildford; for all enquiries, call 0171-636 1666.

12

PIED A TERRE

They never buy in stock for sales, and their aim is to clear all the summer lines, so... happy hunting. All current stock will be sold at around 40-60 per cent off the marked price. The bad weather to date means that there will be lots and lots of sandals, both sporty and strappy ones. Don't forget that Pied a Terre sells clothing, too - look out for layered camisole dresses and floppy linen trousers; the blouse and skirt above will be on sale at pounds 49 each.

Started: Thur 17 June.

Ends: when stocks run out.

Where: 32 outlets nationwide; for your nearest, call 0171-380 3824.

13

JONES BOOTMAKER

Another high-street chain that excels at interpreting the latest footwear fashions at affordable prices. The styles are never too extreme, so the sale delivers bargains you won't regret buying a week later. Best buys will be the classic men's shoes: Aldgate and Callander monk shoes were both pounds 105, now pounds 80; and Barnard Oxford shoes were pounds 95, now pounds 70. Brogues will also be reduced.

Starts: 9am (10am in London), Mon 12 July.

Ends: end of August.

Where: 100 stores nationwide; for your nearest, call 0800 163 519.

14

JENNERS

An Edinburgh landmark beloved of the city's afternoon tea set, this grand old store is rather like an elderly aunt - trustworthy and reliable, but unlikely to indulge your wilder tastes. There will be great buys throughout the store, with 30-50 per cent off selected bedlinen, china, carpets, glass, toys, children's clothing and designer fashions and accessories. Jenners will be open on Sundays (12noon-5pm) starting from 11 July - the first Sunday of the sale.

Starts: 9am, Mon 5 July.

Ends: Sat 31 July.

Where: Princes St, Edinburgh (0131-225 2442).

15

THE CROSS

This cult shop sells a charming mixture of highly desirable items - luxurious kids' and adults' clothes and shoes; gorgeous smellies, including alphabet soaps in pretty pastel shades; jewellery; silk and satin bags; even dog bowls! Sale prices will be 25-65 per cent off - with crazy reductions in the last week of August. Chances are, though, that you will have succumbed before then.

Starts: Sun 1 August.

Ends: Tue 31 August.

Where: 141 Portland Rd, London W11 (0171-727 6760).

16

INHOUSE

A haven for Scottish style mavens in search of the best of European design. Go to the Glasgow store for bold "statement" furniture - perfect for loft living - or to Edinburgh for slightly more restrained creations. There'll be discounts of up to 50 per cent on lighting, furniture, textiles, cookware, tableware and home accessories. This aluminium deck furniture (above) will be half-price. If you can't make it to their sale, they will deliver items via their mail-order service.

Starts: 10am today.

Ends: Sat 17 July.

Where: 28 Howe St, Edinburgh (enquiries & mail order: 0131-225 2888); 24-26 Wilson St, Glasgow (0141-552 5902).

17

WHISTLES

Discounts on Whistles clothes start at 25 per cent, but they will increase as time elapses. So, if you can hold on to your nerve - and your credit card - until the tail-end of their sale, you may pick up some spectacular bargains. (Unless, of course, others have cracked and got there before you.) The best things to look for here are those classic garments that form the backbone of many wardrobes - black trousers and polo necks, tailored skirts - though their most up-to-the minute designs tend not to be included in the sale.

Started: Wed 23 June.

Ends: four to five weeks' time.

Where: 24 stores & concessions nationwide; for your nearest, call 0171-487 4484.

18

DOLCE & GABBANA

Descend to the basement for menswear in their Sloane Street store. They won't be putting a sign in the window, but don't let their low-key approach to sales deter you. Slightly wacky and strangely seductive clothes, predominantly in black, navy and grey, will be discounted by 40-50 per cent. Look out for half-price leather jackets, which, unusually, will be included in the sale, along with combat trousers and stylish leather or nylon satchels.

Starts: end of June.

Ends: around mid-August.

Where: 175 Sloane St, London (0171-235 0335), plus outlets in Harvey Nichols (Leeds & London, see No 4) & in Wade-Smith, Liverpool (0151-255 1077).

19

DICKINS AND JONES

Their flagship store on London's Regent Street is still struggling to develop any character after its revamp. But it does know how to put on a good sale. In particular, look into their homeware departments - they've been given a dramatic overhaul this year to fall in line with the glamorous stock at their sister store, Barkers of Kensington. There's 25 per cent off Le Creuset cookware (Le Creuset griddle pans will be half-price at pounds 20); and many other ranges of saucepans are reduced by 40-50 per cent.

Starts: Thur 1 July.

Ends: Sat 31 July.

Where: 224-244 Regent St, London W1; The Ashley Centre, Epsom; George St, Richmond - for your nearest store, call 0171-734 7070.

20

COLOGNE AND COTTON

To walk into one of Cologne and Cotton's five shops is to steal into a freshly laundered linen cupboard: touch the beautifully presented Egyptian- cotton sheets (nothing is prewrapped); smell the scent of its popular range of linen sprays. Several of the high-quality pure-cotton bedlinen lines will feature in the sale: a white embroidered double duvet cover will be reduced to pounds 45 from pounds 59.95, while its matching Oxford pillow case is down pounds 2 to pounds 8.50.

Started: last Thur.

Ends: around mid-August.

Where: three stores in London, one in Cheltenham & another in Leamington Spa - for details, call 01926 332573

21

LLOYD DAVIES

This chic store has two clear divisions - upstairs and downstairs - and so, conveniently, has the sale. On the lower-ground floor you can get 10 per cent off any furniture ordered in the sale. At street level, in the bathshop, bedshop and kitchenshop, there'll be up to 50 per cent off selected goods. The furniture ranges are mainly sourced from Italian designers, while the eclectic assortment of homewares includes many of the leading names from across Europe and the States.

Started: yesterday.

Ends: Sat 31 July.

Where: 14 John Dalton St, Manchester (0161-832 3700).

22

CAMPER

Irreverent footwear as well as some more feet-on-the-ground boots and shoes. Their core stock, which sells year in, year out, is unlikely to be in the sale, but the great news for foot fetishists is that Camper's seasonal shoes will be discounted by 10-30 per cent. Look out for their "Chicken" flip-flops, as well as other styles in the Twins range of non- matching pairs of shoes.

Starts: first week in July, at 10.30am at the Covent Garden branch (39 Floral St, London WC2), 10am all other stores.

Ends: mid-August.

Where: three stores in London & one at Bluewater, Unit LO53B; call 0171- 409 3114 for details. 23

MARKS & SPENCERS

Throw out all those holey socks, grey jockey shorts and threadbare boxers, and indulge yourself at the only shop to go to for new underwear. You don't need to be told that they're good for shirts and jumpers, too. Think about it: your mum will be thrilled.

Starts: end of June.

Ends: when sale stock sells out.

Where: 294 stores nationwide; for your nearest, call 0171-935 4422.

24

FRASERS

Claiming to stock a wider range of international fashion brands than either John Lewis or Debenhams, Frasers' sale should be a happy hunting ground for your summer wardrobe. They will be slashing the prices of electrical goods and bedlinen, and reducing selected goods by up to 50 per cent.

Starts: 9.30am, Thur 1 July.

Ends: Sat 31 July.

Where: Buchanan St, Glasgow (0141-221 3880), & 49 stores nationwide - for your nearest, call 0171-963 2236.

25

DIVERTIMENTI

This beautifully practical cookshop kicked off its summer sale through its mail-order catalogue in mid-May, with limited stock available until the end of July. Visitors to their stores will have to wait longer for bargains, but there will still be many to be had such as: Vienna hand- made wine glasses and cream-coloured Provencale tableware reduced by 30 per cent; Italian stainless-steel oil cans are 40 per cent off; Manufacture d'Lauriers at 30 per cent off, and Italian wood-and-metal salt and pepper mills at 25 per cent off.

Starts: today.

Ends: Sun 13 July.

Where: 139-141 Fulham Rd, London SW3 (0171-581 8065); 35-47 Wigmore St, London W1 (0171 935 0689); for the mail-order catalogue, call 0181-246 4300.

26

ROBERT MASON

A one-stop shop for classic 20th-century furniture. They specialise in British and Italian designs, and have a comprehensive reference library of brochures. If it's not in stock, they will order it for you, or even arrange a one-off commission. All new orders placed during the sale will receive a 10 per cent discount. There'll also be up to 35 per cent off ex-showroom stock, plus 10 per cent off newly launched products.

Starts: 10am today.

Ends: mid-July.

Where: Crispin House, New York Road, Leeds (0113-242 2434).

27

N PEAL CASHMERE

Although prices at this posh Burlington Arcade shop are normally a bit too steep to make N Peal Cashmere an unqualified recommendation, its sale is well worth marking in your diary. Selected lines will be reduced by up to 50 per cent; stunningly soft twinsets in spring colours will be pounds 169 (reduced from pounds 310), and cropped cardigans will be pounds 99 (usual price pounds 170). And if you're feeling generous towards the man in your life, the sale of men's cashmere is but a few doors away, at No 71.

Starts: 9.30am, Thur 1 July.

Ends: about three weeks later.

Where: 37 Burlington Arcade, London W1 (0171-493 9220).

28

DAVID CLULOW

This is your chance to break away from the British stereotype of wearing unfashionable and unflattering glasses - and it won't make a serious hole in your bank balance. Designer frames - including Gucci, Chloe, agnes b, Philippe Starck, Paul Smith, Calvin Klein, Giorgio Armani and D&G - will be reduced by up to 50 per cent. There will also be 50 per cent off their own-brand glasses and 25 per cent off own-brand sunglasses.

Started: Mon 21 June.

Ends: Sat 31 July.

Where: 42 stores nationwide; for your nearest, call 0181-864 4040.

29

JOHN LEWIS

Beloved of brides across the country, John Lewis is a fantastic one-stop shop for essential kit from dustpans to dhurris. There will be bargains in all departments, the best being in bedlinen, bathlinen and china. "Seconds" will be included in the sale, with white Wedgewood bone china at less than half-price, and around 25 per cent off towels. It's worth checking out the clearance bargains in their oriental rugs, too.

Started: Fri 13 July.

Ends: Sat 24 July.

Where: 25 stores nationwide - for your nearest, call 0171-629 7711.

30

EARLY LEARNING CENTRE

There are stacks of toys here to help develop the talents of infants of every aptitude and ability - in wood or fantastic plastic, to please all schools of thought. Many will be half-price, such as the ELC First pram reduced to pounds 8.50, the Electronic Activity Cube at pounds 5, the ELC Metal Detector at pounds 9, plus lots of games, puzzles and books.

Starts: 9am, Thur 15 July.

Ends: Sat 21 August.

Where: 217 stores nationwide; for your nearest, call 0990 352352.

31

SOFA WORKSHOP

Everything (yes, really!) is discounted in their sale: both made-to-measure and their "off the peg" ranges. The frame price (fabric costs extra) of bestsellers like the new Braque sofa and Picasso chair will be reduced by 15 per cent. And there's up to 20 per cent off hardy perennnials like the Shannon, Utrillo and Du Pre lines. Their top bargains are the one-offs - ex-showroom stock and clearance models (up to half-price).

Starts: 9.30am, Mon 28 June.

Ends: Sun 1 August.

Where: 28 stores nationwide - for your nearest, call 01798 343400.

32

AGNES B

For clothes that are calm and uncluttered yet with an often zany Parisian edge, look no further. The best buys will be in linen, or whimsical floral prints in a range of dresses, trousers, skirts and shirts. They've also had some eye-poppingly bright prints this season. Discounts start at 20-30 per cent, increasing as the sale progresses, but scoot along soon, as the best pieces will fly out of the shop.

Starts: around mid-July to beginning August.

Ends: end August.

Where: four stores in London and one at 90 High Street, Oxford - for your nearest branch, call 0171-935 5556.

33

PAUL SMITH

Understated elegance, as always. The major lines - Paul Smith, Paul Smith London, PS by Paul Smith, R Newbold - jeans and accessories lines will all be included in this sale, with all spring and summer stock offered at 30 per cent off. They have 11 stores and 125 stockists across the country, but this sale information applies only to the stores listed below. Call them for more information on what is happening in your area.

Starts: 10.30am, Fri 30 July.

Ends: approximately three weeks later.

Where: 41-44 Floral St, London WC2; Sloane Ave, London SW3; 66-68 Bridge St, Manchester; 10 Byard Lane, Nottingham; for all enquiries, call 0171-379 7133.

34

FENWICK

Fenwick never fails to come up with delightful surprises. With some of the canniest buyers in the business, they have all the top designer labels, but also many less high-profile brands, so that you can achieve this season's look without bankrupting yourself in the process. Clever things to look for include cashmere from TSE, womenswear from Nicole Farhi and Mani, and menswear from John Smedley, Paul Smith and Kenzo at 30-50 per cent off.

Starts: 10am, Tue 29 June.

Ends: Sat 31 July.

Where: eight stores nationwide - for your nearest, call 0171-629 9161. 35

ROBERT CRESSER

To step into this shop is to enter a lost age, when a brush was a brush, and dirt was afraid. Established in 1873, and stocking every conceivable type of brush from a cornice brush to a belly-button brush, they don't suscribe to sales fever, regarding it as "a little tacky". Instead, they are always prepared to offer discounts (at their own discretion), if you're prepared to ask. Now that's my kind of sale!

Where: 40 Victoria St, Edinburgh (0131-225 2181).

36

IKEA

Despite the very annoying fact that it's impossible just to pop into Ikea - pack Kendal Mint Cake and a flask of industrial-strength coffee to sustain you on your trek - their sale is worth braving as they ruthlessly slash prices to clear the decks ready for the new catalogue merchandise, which arrives in August.

Started: Thur 24 June.

Ends: Sun 11 July.

Where: nine stores nationwide - for your nearest, call 0181-208 5607.

37

TOPSHOP

TopShop has now firmly re-established itself as the place for cool budget buys. There's almost too much to choose from. They are keeping details of their sale very close to their chests (no doubt snazzily clad in dragon-print shirts), but it'll be a goodie, as they aim to clear all the summer stock.

Starts: Tue 29 June.

Ends: to be confirmed.

Where: Oxford Circus, London W1 (0171-636 7700) & stores around the country. There's no general number for enquiries, but, with over 2,000 outlets nationwide, they'll be in your local phone book; or check out their website (www.topshop.co.uk) for up-to-the-minute information.

38

GIEVES & HAWKES

A Savile Row tailor with branches in Lime Street, London, Old Bond Street in Bath and St Michael's Row, Chester. Selected off-the-peg suits in Savile Row will be reduced from pounds 995 to pounds 695. In their other stores, suits will be reduced from pounds 495 to pounds 395; save pounds 125 on blazers, now pounds 225; all shirts in the sale will be pounds 49, reduced from pounds 79/pounds 69. Bargains on casual wear are less dramatic - save pounds 13 on a polo shirt, now pounds 25; or pounds 26 on chinos, reduced to pounds 85.

Starts: 9am today.

Ends: Sat 31 July.

Where: five stores nationwide, plus outlets in Selfridges (London only), Harrods & Edinburgh's Jenners - for your nearest, call 0171-434 2001.

39

DEBENHAMS

Best-known for their successful own-brand fashion diffusion ranges from UK-based designers Ben de Lisi, Pearce Fionda, Jasper Conran, John Richmond, Ozwald Boateng, Lulu Guinness and others of that ilk, Debenhams attracts clever, label-conscious shoppers in possession of a little more dash than cash. What better reason to scour their summer sale?

Starts: Tue 13 July.

Ends: two to three weeks later.

Where: 90 stores nationwide - for your nearest, call 0171-408 4444.

40

TABWELL TOOLS

This Sheffield-based company supplies tough, tough toys for grown-up boys: women, too, if they enjoy assessing the merits of 20-odd types of chisel, innumerable screwdrivers and a multitude of power tools. There's no set sale period, but hefty discounts (up to 50 per cent) are offered on a constantly changing selection of goods all year round. Fantastic value!

Where: 30 stores nationwide;

for your nearest, call 0800 581746.

41

CONRAN SHOP

The Mecca for Blueprint readers everywhere. Sir Terence is knocking approximately one-third off the price of selected lines across all departments except furniture. The Conran Shop has always ploughed its own design furrow, so, while their sale discounts may be less dramatic than elsewhere, you are more likely to save money on something you really, really want. This season zinc and blond wood have been hot news in-store.

Starts: Sat 3 July. Ends: Sat 17 July. Where: Fulham Rd, London SW3 (0171- 589 7401); Marylebone High St, London W1 (0171-723 2223); Conduit St, London W1 (0171-399 0710).

42

JOSEPH

You know what you want. It's been calling out to you for weeks, but you've been strong. You're waiting for the sale. And Joseph's are always worth the wait. Best buys this summer are anything with a Liberty print, and Essentials trousers in various guises. They say that selected lines will be reduced by 30 per cent, but, going on past experience, bigger bargains will be there for the eagle-eyed early bird. Race you!

Starts: 10am, Wed 30 June.

Ends: when stock runs out.

Where: seven Joseph stores, five Joseph Essentials stores, plus outlets in Selfridges, Harrods, Fenwick & Harvey Nichols - for your nearest, call 0171-590 6200.

43

REISS

Dress to impress, whatever your style, be it traditional or flashy. Reiss caters for all types of men who enjoy their clothes. There will be between 25 and 50 per cent off a wide range of clothes from highly tailored suits to casual patch- pocket jackets, plus good deals on leather jackets. This summer, there is a short black-leather biker jacket, a tan-hide single-breasted jacket and a classic single-breasted black-leather jacket. They are selling well, but here's hoping there'll be some left for the sale.

Starts: 10am, Thur 22 July.

Ends: about four weeks later.

Where: 13 stores nationwide - for your nearest, call 0171-225 4900.

44

HARRODS

Sharpen your elbows if you intend to take part in the top people's summer- shopping scrum. Now almost a part of the Season (after all, they do have a dress code), the legendary price reductions in the china and glass departments draw serious bargain-hunters from across the country - and the world. Average discounts elsewhere in this emporium are between 20 and 30 per cent. Not one for the faint-hearted.

Starts: 9am, Wed 7 July.

Ends: Sat 17 July.

Where: Brompton Rd, London SW1 (0171-730 1234); for a direct-mail catalogue, call 0845 605 1234.

45

HMV

There's an impressive range of CDs, tapes and videos in their megastores and local shops, especially in world music, jazz and dance music. CDs will start at pounds 1.99, videos from pounds 3.99. Needless to say, the best bargains will vary considerably from store to store, depending on local listening/watching habits, so it might pay to shop around.

Starts: 9am, Fri 2 July.

Ends: end of July.

Where: 108 stores nationwide; for your nearest, call 0171-432 2000.

46

AERO

Cutting-edge designs for your home, but not so sharp that they make you feel like a scruffy bit-player when you put the key in the latch. Check out bargains such as galvanised bins (15 per cent off), Dualit Espresso Machines (50 per cent off), and the Wave Shelving System (black only - 50 per cent off). Bargains will be even more dramatic at their warehouse sale.

Starts: 9.30am, Sat 26 June (shops); warehouse sale on two weekends only, 26-27 June & 3-4 July, 9.30am-5pm.

Ends: Sun 1 August (shops). Where: 347 King's Rd, London SW3 (0171-351 0511); 96 Westbourne Grove, London W2 (0171-221 1950); Aero Warehouse, 46 Weir Rd, Wimbledon, London SW19 (0181-971 0022).

47

POLLYANNA

Spread over four floors in a substantial Georgian house, this is the best place in the North for high fashion - its devotees flock from miles around. Owner Rita Britton edits collections, showing the best of the likes of Jil Sander, Issey Miyake, Yohji Yamamoto and Comme des Garcons. You can even take a breather to have lunch at the in-store restaurant. Their sale discounts start at 25 per cent, with some clothes reduced by as much as 50 per cent.

Starts: 9am, Thur 1 July.

Ends: end of July.

Where: 16 Market Hill, Barnsley (01226 291665).

48

THOMAS PINK

It's a wonder that anyone ever buys shirts outside the sales, given the fantastic discounts on offer here. They haven't said which colours, though... Thomas Pink's most popular shirt, Black Label, in classic herringbone, chamberlain check or baldwin stripe, will be less than half-price at pounds 25. Sea Island cotton shirts are reduced from pounds 75 to pounds 35, and the more relaxed Green Label shirts in marled twill and portland check are reduced from pounds 49.50 to pounds 35.

Started: Sat 19 June.

Ends: Sat 10 July.

Where: 16 stores nationwide; for your nearest, call 0171-498 2202.

49

LIBERTY

The increasingly eclectic collections of both fashion and interior designers perfectly suit Liberty's approach to retailing. Oriental lamp bases are half-price; and ethnic lamp bases will have one-third off. Save pounds 500 on large oriental steps, now pounds 499; pounds 225 on kelim stools, now pounds 225; and carpets are substantially discounted at between 25 and 50 per cent off. Look, too, for scarves, high fashion - 40 per cent off Hussein Chalayan - and accessories at ridiculously low prices.

Started: Thur 24 June.

Ends: Sat 31 July.

Where: 210-220 Regent St, London W1 (0171-734 1234).

50

DIXONS

You need look no further than your nearest high street for summer deals on electrical equipment that will make your eyes light up. For example, the Hitachi RMD 100 (518905) MiniDisc Recording Deck with CD player is reduced to pounds 179.99, a saving of pounds 120; a portable CD player, the CDSTR, is pounds 49.99, a saving of pounds 30; the Konica 140 Zoom Compact Camera is pounds 149.99, a saving of pounds 100. It's a day at the beach.

Starts: on now.

Ends: end August.

Where: 335 stores nationwide; for your nearest, call 0990 500049.

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