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Bon-Ton bites the dust

In Voltaire’s 18th century satirical classic, Candide, the hero’s tutor, Dr Pangloss, stuck obstinately to his famous optimism, despite an unending series of catastrophes. “All is for the best in this best of all possible worlds” was his mantra. Pangloss was misguided: there were rarely any silver linings in the disasters that litter the book’s narrative. Now though, as the entire middle of the department store sector in developed countries wobbles slowly toward extinction, a little do