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Mike Ashley once boasted he had “balls of steel”. Frankly, for anyone else to spend £45 million on shares in Debenhams after its Christmas drubbing, you’d need them.

House of Fraser keeps options open as Lafayette bid looms

The French department store Galeries Lafayette is in exclusive talks to buy its British rival House of Fraser.

House of Fraser eyes July float if Lafayette talks fail

House of Fraser could float on the stock market as soon as July, if exclusive talks with French department store Galeries Lafayette collapse.

The Business Matrix: Thursday 26 September 2013

Baby boom helps Cussons profits

Furniture retailer Dwell collapses after failed attempts to find white knight

Upmarket furniture chain Dwell today closed all its stores and ceased trading both on the High Street and online with immediate effect, with the potential loss of 300 jobs.

House of Fraser defies High Street gloom with record sales and profits

House of Fraser, the privately owned department store chain, showed today it is defying the gloom on the High Street with record levels of sales and profits.

What the Sunday papers said

Independent on Sunday: Aviva faces new investor row at annual meeting

Light bites: Brighten up meal times with a splash of colour

1 | Babell Tiered Fruit Dish £19.80, Koziol. This three-tiered plastic stand makes a red-hot table centrepiece. 0121 224 7728, redcandy.co.uk

Investment Insider: Home shoppers may not help retailers out of their slump, but watch out for overseas growth

Begbies Traynor, the business recovery group, reckons almost 140, mainly smaller, retailers are in a financially critical situation. It has also cautioned that as consumers tighten their belts after Christmas there could be a surge of insolvencies during the first quarter of 2013.

Warm weather stifled sales at House of Fraser

House of Fraser has blamed warm weather, the consumer downturn and costs associated with opening a new distribution centre for a sharp fall in its profits last year.

Matalan founder makes womenswear buy

John Hargreaves, the founder of Matalan, has acquired Fenn Wright Manson, the womenswear retailer, out of administration.

Firemen douse the charred remains of the Reeves furniture store in Croydon, south of London, on 9 August

Man admits starting House of Reeves Croydon riot blaze

A man today admitted starting a massive fire which destroyed a family-run furniture shop during the riots last year.

Lombok calls in administrators

The furniture chain Lombok went into administration yesterday in a move resulting in the closure of nine stores.

Jane Norman fights Baugur's legacy to the high street

Two years after the Icelandic investor imploded many UK companies are still reeling. James Thompson reports
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How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map
Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

This was the year of 24-carat Golden Oldies
Paris Fashion Week

Paris Fashion Week

Thom Browne's scarecrows offer a rare beacon in commercial offerings
A year of the caliphate:

Isis, a year of the caliphate

Who can defeat the so-called 'Islamic State' – and how?
Marks and Spencer: Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?

Marks and Spencer

Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?
'We haven't invaded France': Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak

'We haven't invaded France'

Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak
Isis in Kobani: Why we ignore the worst of the massacres

Why do we ignore the worst of the massacres?

The West’s determination not to offend its Sunni allies helps Isis and puts us all at risk, says Patrick Cockburn
7/7 bombings 10 years on: Four emergency workers who saved lives recall the shocking day that 52 people were killed

Remembering 7/7 ten years on

Four emergency workers recall their memories of that day – and reveal how it's affected them ever since
Humans: Are the scientists developing robots in danger of replicating the hit Channel 4 drama?

They’re here to help

We want robots to do our drudge work, and to look enough like us for comfort. But are the scientists developing artificial intelligence in danger of replicating the TV drama Humans?
Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

'Heritage' is a loaded word in the Dixie, but the Charleston killings show how dangerous it is to cling to a deadly past, says Rupert Cornwell
What exactly does 'one' mean? Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue

What exactly does 'one' mean?

Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue