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People and Business: Philip Green sets off alarm

SEVERAL SELFRIDGES people were recalling yesterday how they first encountered Philip Green, the man who bought the Sears stores chain a couple of months ago.

Of course, Sears and Selfridges demerged a year ago, but they continue to share offices on the top floor of the Oxford Street department store.

When Sears succumbed to Mr Green's hostile bid the Selfridges staff realised they faced the risk of bumping into the corporate raider in the lift.

In fact, this didn't happen. The only evidence of Mr Green's presence was the fire alarm, which kept going off when he entered the building. Apparently Mr Green's cigars were the problem.

But that seems to have stopped. As one Selfridges insider said yesterday: "Maybe Mr Green is a bit more relaxed now."