Pembroke: Big breakfast for sale slaves

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The Independent Online
HARRODS is pushing the boat out for its January sale, which starts next Wednesday. Hollywood actor Richard Gere will perform the ribbon-snipping role. And customers spending more than pounds 200 on one transaction can enter a competition to win a Range Rover Vogue LSE.

The usual queue of die-hard bargain hunters is expected to sleep overnight outside the swanky Knightsbridge store even though there is no 'loss-leader' item like a pounds 50 fur coat to tempt shoppers this time. Harrods says that Channel Four's Big Breakfast is considering filming the sale and providing brekky between 7am and 9am.

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SELFRIDGES is taking a more low- key approach to its sale, which started on Monday. Expecting 125,000 shoppers through its Oxford Street doors on the opening day, staff were served coffee before the rush. Buy of the season was a sapphire diamond cluster ring, down from pounds 65,340 to pounds 32,670.

PUB LANDLORDS should be applauded for discouraging drink- driving, but few go as far as former policeman Dave Dillnutt. He has put a coffin in his bar at the Polsham Arms in Paignton, Devon to deter regulars from over-imbibing. 'If it takes shock tactics to get the message across, then I'm not afraid to do it,' he told the Morning Advertiser, the drinks trade paper.

CRISIS AT CHRISTMAS, the charity that helps London's homeless during the festive season, had its usual blow-out this year. Paper company Arjo Wiggins Appleton loaned the charity a warehouse in Bermondsey in south London for a big Christmas feed-up. The charity got through 70 turkeys (John Major donated the bird he received from the turkey association), 100 Christmas puds (made by the Boy Scouts) and 25,000 cups of tea.

PEMBROKE understands that one of the better performing investment funds this year has a rather seasonal ring to it - the Turkey Trust. Depends on your point of view, I suppose. Bernard Matthews' victims would probably not agree.

POSTEL, one of Britain's largest pension funds, has demonstrated faith in the directorly capabilities of Norman Lamont. On Christmas Eve the fund festively snapped up a further million shares in First Philippine Investment Trust, where the former chancellor recently became a non- executive director.

FOR SOME REASON, the City lacks faith in the Grand National organisers: the rumour among the Square Mile's punters last week was that Aintree would be hiring Group 4 Security - to ensure that at least some of the starters get away.