Water sales rise

Sales of bottled mineral water rose 11% to £305m in the last year, as consumers continued to eschew carbonates, according to TNS Worldpanel (52 w/e 3 December 2006).

Focus on Bottled Water, p49.

Harry Potter pledge

Asda has pledged to offer the lowest price anywhere for the seventh and final Harry Potter novel. Customers can pre-order the book, which is out on 21 July, at £11.61 now but will pay less if the price falls on launch.

Welcome wage rise

A 3.2% minimum wage increase to £5.52 an hour from October has been welcomed by the Association of Convenience Stores and the British Retail Consortium. The British Retail Consortium said the limited rise was "good news".