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Billionaire businessman Mike Ashley left the City baffled last night about a highly complex derivatives deal that was revealed on one of the busiest days in the retail calendar.

Debenhams boss retires with upbeat message

The chief executive of Debenhams, Rob Templeman, sprung a surprise yesterday, revealing he will retire in September after nearly eight years at the department store chain.

Go Outdoors chairman John Lovering quits

John Lovering has stepped down after just eight months as chairman of the outdoor retailer Go Outdoors, which is poised to sell a minority stake to 3i, the listed private equity firm.

Dressing table: Spring bloom

Matthew Williamson experiments at home

Fashion and interiors are one, says the designer in an exclusive interview with Annie Deakin

ailers hungry for plus-size clothing growth

One-quarter of the women's clothes sold in the UK this year will be size 18 or above, as retailers target a huge opportunity to grow profits from the fact that females in this country are getting fatter. Verdict, the retail consultancy, said the women would increase their spend on plus-size clothing by 6 per cent to £4.9bn this year.

'Soap opera' at M&B continues as latest chief executive exits

Adam Fowle, the chief executive of Mitchells & Butlers, is to leave the pub and restaurant group after only two years in the role, perpetuating the image of a corporate "soap opera" and a boardroom with a revolving door.

Debenhams posts resilient half-year profits figures

Debenhams moved closer to reinstating its dividend yesterday after it posted a resilient set of half-year sales and profits, despite the dire weather before Christmas and lower footfall on the high street since early January.

The Week Ahead: Little cheer for retailers after bad winter and VAT

After extreme weather hit the festive period, it is no secret that – with the rise in VAT just one of its headaches – the retail sector has suffered a tough 2011, and Debenhams aren't expected to produce any positive surprises tomorrow.

The Bargain Hunter: Nibbles to satisfy cravings ...

If you've decided to exercise a bit of restraint during Lent you could do worse than to head over to Food Doctor, where craving-satisfying nibbles can be found at wallet-friendly prices. Check out the full range of bargain books and snacks at ind.pn/FoodDoc

High street heroes: A new line-up at Debenhams

Debenhams was first to offer designer collaborations, in 1993, and now there's a fresh new line-up of young names at the store. Harriet Walker reports

The Bargain Hunter: Romantic rush

With the big day only 48 hours away, Asda has slashed the price of flowers on its specialist Valentine's microsite. Flowers delivered by post can be purchased for as little as £9.75, while bouquets delivered by courier start at just £19. Aesthetically, the stand out choice has to be the ES Pink Signature arrangement, available for £36 including delivery. Visit Asda's website at http://bit.ly/epihLJ to view the full range.

M&B's Lovering to step down as chair

John Lovering is set to call time on his year-long stint as chairman of the pubs group Mitchells & Butlers.

The Bargain Hunter: Blue Cross your heart

The "biggest ever" Blue Cross sale at Debenhams continues this weekend with up to 70 per cent off fashion and homewares in-store and online. Top offers include numerous Red Herring dresses, starting at £16.50, men's biker and bomber jackets down to as little as £23.75, and exclusive bed linen sets reduced to just £12. Visit Debenhams.com/sale for more information.

Festive freeze hits sales across the high street

The full impact of last month's snow on festive trading was laid bare yesterday in a key survey, as the department store chain Debenhams said it lost £30m of sales to the weather.

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