Clothing bargains lead to 22nd month of shop price deflation

Kasmira Jefford
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FALLING prices of non-food items such as clothing and DIY goods have dragged overall shop prices down for the 22nd month in a row.

Figures released by the British Retail Consortium (BRC) and Nielsen today show that shop price deflation accelerated to 1.7 per cent in February after falling by 1.3 per cent in January.

This was driven by a 2.5 per cent fall in non-food prices compared with a 1.8 per cent decline in January. “Those shoppers enjoying the January sales could continue into February with great bargains on the high street, especially for clothing,” BRC director general Helen Dickinson said.

Food prices also fell for the second month in a row, down 0.4 per cent, as supermarkets cut the price of fresh food products such as milk, cheese and vegetables.

“Since the start of the year, we have seen some very competitive pricing across both the food and non-food channels and this is helping to keep prices low for shoppers,” Nielsen’s head of retailer insight Mike Watkins said.

“With many commodity prices still falling, if shoppers can be encouraged to spend more, then retailers will be looking for volume sales increases over the next few months,” he said.