Arcadia’s bosses were on amusingly  acerbic form at last week’s results breakfast.

Echoing no doubt the thoughts of many retailers, chairman Lord Grabiner said that the papers are so gloomy these days he only reads the sports pages – and, perhaps surprisingly, the obituaries. Then owner Sir Philip Green flagged the number of his staff that have been poached by rival Asos. “They took the wrong ones,” he quipped.