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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.

'Mary Queen of Shops' puts her head on the block in Oxford Street

Retail guru Mary Portas will risk her reputation when she opens her own store this summer

House of Fraser posts leap in 2010 profits

House of Fraser, the department store group, has posted a sharp rise in annual profits and issued a £250m bond to give it a cheaper debt structure and free up cashflow to invest in the business.

The Bargain Hunter: Chocs away

Easter weekend is always a great time for bargain hunters and this year looks set to be no exception. Several major retailers are hosting sales including House of Fraser, Halfords and, perhaps more predictably, Thorntons the chocolatier. Thorntons's offer is three-for-two on Easter gifts plus a free box of chocolates worth £13.99 with all orders over £20 when using the discount code EA44. Meanwhile, both House of Fraser and Halfords have up to 50 per cent off dozens of items in store and online. The produce they sell may be entirely different but both retailers are clearly using the bank holiday spirit to attract new customers to their stores.

Dressing table: Spring bloom

Fashion chain All Saints 'up for sale'

High street fashion chain All Saints has been put up for sale with price tag worth a potential £140 million, it was reported today.

The 'body' is back in fashion!

Designers of women's clothing are reinventing older styles for today

House of Fraser bucks Christmas retail trend

Department store House of Fraser has beaten rival John Lewis by posting an 8.5 per cent rise in underlying sales over the festive period – the second year running it has broken records.

House of Fraser announces record seasonal trading

Department store chain House of Fraser announced record seasonal trading today despite the impact of December's Arctic weather on pre-Christmas sales.

The Bargain Hunter: Discount deals on toys





It's the last shopping week until Christmas and everywhere we look there are discounts by the stocking load. But which savings are worth a second look and which have been talked up to cash in on the shopping season?

The Bargain Hunter

j.hall@independent.co.uk

House of Fraser profits lifted by own brands

House of Fraser's strategy to focus on its own brands looks to have paid off, after sales in the division surged more than 60 per cent.

Fly fashion: Lift off for new label

FLY53, a new high-fashion label for the edgy young, is getting ready to land in 10 of Britain's biggest cities.

Man held over House of Fraser stabbing

A department store employee was recovering in hospital today after he was repeatedly stabbed by a work colleague.

John Lewis spends £6m on biggest-ever ad campaign

John Lewis is to turn the screws on its rivals Marks & Spencer, Debenhams and House of Fraser by launching its biggest ever advertising campaign on Friday. The department store said the £6m advertising campaign over the next six weeks aims to "reposition" its famous "never knowingly undersold" strapline.

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