Galen Weston, the Irish billionaire businessman, is heading a pounds 400m-plus bid for Selfridges, the Oxford Street store which floated last month. Weston owns the Brown Thomas department store in Dublin and the Holt Renfrew chain of stores in Canada. There was also speculation that property giant British Land were about to launch a take-over bid. (Sources: The Independent and the Sunday Telegraph)

n ASDA AND TESCO both defied the European Court of Justice's ban on their selling cut-price designer goods in stores. Asda brazenly ran a free coach service to its sale from outside Harvey Nichols in Leeds while Tesco said that its two new supermarkets would be selling brand-names at much-reduced prices. (Sources: the Express, the Daily Telegraph and The Independent)

n GUCCI AND LVMH (owners of Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior) have seen their share prices slide as the financial climate in the Far East worsens. Donna Karan and Tommy Hilfiger have also seen share prices plunge below levels at which the companies floated. (Source: the Observer)