Laura Chesters

Laura Chesters is a business reporter and covers the consumer, food, drink and luxury goods sectors on the business desk at The London Evening Standard, i, The Independent and The Independent on Sunday

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Conchita Wurst with French designer Jean Paul Gaultier

Jean-Paul Gaultier exits ready-to-wear to focus on perfume and haute couture

Final ready-to-wear collection from French designer to be launched later this month

Richemont hit by Chinese luxury slowdown

Richemont, the Swiss giant behind Cartier watches, has become latest luxury group to be hit by sales growth slowdown as demand in China wanes.

ASOS shares plunge on third profit warning

Online retailer downgraded its outlook for next year warning profits will remain at "similar level"

Rare blue diamond found in South Africa sold for £17m

Petra Diamonds purchased the 122.52 carat stone in a partnership with an anonymous polishing partner

Market Report: Micro Focus splashes out $1.2bn to buy US-based Attachmate Group

Software and computer consultancies rarely get the City excited, but on Monday a £730m deal by Micro Focus for its American rival helped its shares jump more than 15 per cent.

JD Sports to launch menswear chain as it takes on Topman

Chain in talks to open new outlets in Norwich, Bristol, Gateshead and Merry Hill near Birmingham by the end of the year

Markets Report: Focus switches back to China and Russia

The City switched its focus from Scotland back to China and Russia as the Footsie fell on Thursday.

Véronique Laury

Véronique Laury to become fifth FTSE 100 female boss as head of B&Q owner Kingfisher

She is replacing chief executive of seven years, Sir Ian Cheshire

Market Report: Traders dump shares in companies most at risk from independence Yes vote

As the word “Yes” for an independent Scotland looked more likely after a weekend poll, the word sell echoed around the City yesterday as traders dumped shares in companies most at risk.

Mulberry have launched a range of bags designed by the model Cara Delevingne

Investors give Mulberry bosses a handbagging

Investors have weathered three profit warnings and the departure of chief executive Bruno Guillon in March following its failed move upmarket

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Day In a Page

Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...