Business Diary: Hangover hint for Experian

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The Independent Online

Apparently Britain's high streets are going to be flooded with shoppers tomorrow, at least according to Experian Footfall, which yesterday produced the latest (desperate) attempt to cash in on some of the publicity generated by the World Cup. The information services company reckons there will be a sharp increase in Saturday shoppers compared to last week because there is no England game. It appears not to have occurred to researchers that the same England fans who avoided the shops last week might have plenty of alcohol-fuelled motivation to do the same thing this week after tonight's game against Algeria in Cape Town.

Garlic gain stops birth boom?

One intriguing consequence of the football fever affecting everything has been a surge in sales of garlic bread. Waitrose said yesterday that increase had been as much as 22 per cent since the festivities got under way in South Africa, driven largely by people choosing to eat at home while games are on (which is really awful news for pubs). Traditionally, football tournaments coincide with an increase in the birth rate. We're not quite so sure that's going to happen this time around, however.

Borat bank quits Kazakhstan

One deal-ette that slipped beneath the radar yesterday was Royal Bank of Scotland selling its retail business in Kazakhstan to HSBC for $52m. It was part of RBS's post-credit crunch disposal programme, which is designed to get the majority state-owned bank back on a half-stable footing following a management failure that even Kazakhstan's (unwanted) cultural ambassador, Borat, would have found thoroughly embarrassing.

Job losses by appointment

Ooops. Poor proofreading at KPMG, which has been appointed administrator to the luxury hotels company Eton Group. Apparently, no redundancies "have been made appointment". As we are talking about the top end of the market, did the writer mean "upon appointment" or "by appointment". Diary thinks we should be told.