News

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.

Fashion: Spend, spend, spend and sparkle

This is a time of year when you want to stand out, so as long as your outfit shines in every sense, you'll see the century out in style.

Hamilton downfall `caused by his bid to help Fayed' says QC

THE "TRAGEDY" of Neil Hamilton was that his downfall stemmed from trying to help the Harrods boss, Mohamed Al Fayed, the former Tory MP's QC said yesterday.

The Investment Column: Allders

ALLDERS, THE department store group, is not the most exciting of retailers but it has had an action-packed few months. Merger talks with House of Fraser collapsed in October as the City forced HoF's share price into the abyss.

The Investment Column: House of Fraser

LIFE IS tough out there on the high street and House of Fraser provided further evidence of the gloom yesterday. Half-year figures at the department store retailer were not a pretty sight. Operating losses increased from pounds 2.8m to pounds 4m and underlying sales fell 2.4 per cent. Current trading is even worse - same store sales are down 5 per cent.

House of Fraser's growing appetite for purchases puts Allders into play

HOUSE OF FRASER, the chain whose stores include Army & Navy, Barkers and Howells of Cardiff, yesterday increased speculation that it is poised to launch a pounds 140m bid for rival Allders by confirming it is holding a review of its business that could lead to acquisitions.

Facelift removes DH Evans

THE NAME DH Evans is to disappear from Oxford Street in London after 144 years of trading, as part of a pounds 12m revamp of the faded store.

The 50 Best; SUMMERTIME, AND THE DRESSING IS EASY

Summer-holiday dressing is one of those things women both love and hate. It should be fun forgetting about grim office uniforms and buying clothes simply for larking about in; but then there's the grief inherent in choosing clothes that - horror! - show off all your bumpy bits. So our expert stylist Lizzy Shepherd has done the legwork for you, choosing the best key summer gear: itty-bitty sundresses, sassy swimwear, vital separates - and plenty of finishing touches. Stay cool... Photographs by John Knock

Comment: Right of Reply - Mohamed Al Fayed

The owner of Harrods responds to a leading article on his application for British citizenship

Cooler shakers; tried & tested

A cocktail shaker should be one part functional, three parts decadent, and capable of transforming even the most unlikely combination of liquids into an exotic concoction. Happily twirling their miniature umbrellas at the prospect of being shaken and stirred were Mathew Iredale, Charlotte Hastings, Lucio Venanzi, Will Iredale, Kezia Comisky and Viv Gilchrist. Barman Richard Preston did the professional road test, and ensured that the Vodka Collins and Manhattans were drinkable. They all hoped to avoid leaks, drips and losing their grip - and, more importantly, their cool

House of Fraser warns of price war

JOHN COLEMAN, the chief executive of House of Fraser, yesterday warned that the recent troubles at Marks & Spencer could damage other department store chains.

Clothing sales battle is set to intensify

BRITAIN'S clothing market is on the verge of a major shakeup as competition in the high street intensifies, a new survey claims today.

Market Report: Bid rumours boost House of Fraser shares

STOCK MARKET professionals, who should have waxed rich on the flow of mega-mergers which have sent shares soaring, concentrated on a more mundane deal, worth a mere pounds 230m or so.

Retail shares dive on Christmas trading reports

SHARES IN the retail sector took a pounding yesterday after a series of gloomy Christmas trading statements underscored the tough conditions on the high street.

This week's diary

TODAY

Shopping: Shoptalk

IF YOU feel you need to get back in shape in the New Year, give yourself a beauty break without breaking into sweat with a professional aromatherapy facial. Decleor is offering Independent readers a facial at its in-store beauty rooms for pounds 15 during January, instead of the usual price of pounds 35. As well as receiving a set of miniature specialist samples for your skin type, the cost of the facial will be redeemable against the purchase of any two or more of Decleor's natural products.
News
peopleHowards' Way actress, and former mistress of Jeffrey Archer, was 60
Sport
Romelu Lukaku puts pen to paper
sport
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Robyn Lawley
people
Arts and Entertainment
Unhappy days: Resistance spy turned Nobel prize winner Samuel Beckett
books
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people
Life and Style
Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson voice the show’s heroes
gamingOnce stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover
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Life and Style
Phones will be able to monitor your health, from blood pressure to heart rate, and even book a doctor’s appointment for you
techCould our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?
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people
Extras
indybest
Career Services

Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

Spanx launches range of jeans

The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
10 best over-ear headphones

Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

Commonwealth Games

David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2014: Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star