Shop prices drop further amid weak consumer demand

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Shop prices drop further amid weak consumer demand BRC Nielsen Shop Price Index Helen Dickinson
Shoppers paid lower prices in February as weaker consumer demand and intense competition saw some retailers extend January sales to entice customers.
// Latest BRC-Nielsen Shop Price Index shows that prices have fallen 0.6% this month
// This compares to a 0.3% decline in January
// Non-food prices declined 1.9% compared with a 1.5% decline in January, but food prices steady at 1.6%

Shop prices have fallen faster this month after weak consumer demand drove more promotions and offers by retailers, according to figures.

The latest BRC-Nielsen Shop Price Index revealed that prices have fallen 0.6 per cent this month, compared with a 0.3 per cent decline in January.

The monthly survey said shoppers were paying lower prices as weaker consumer demand and intense competition saw some retailers extend January sales to entice customers.


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Non-food prices declined further during February, falling 1.9 per cent, compared with a 1.5 per cent decline in January.

Food price inflation remained steady at 1.6 per cent for the month, with fresh food inflation easing to 0.6 per cent from 0.7 per cent in January.

“Consumers will welcome the fall in shop prices, which accelerated from the previous month, with non-food prices falling at their highest rate since May 2018,” BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson said.

“In contrast, some non-perishables, such as cereals, have caused overall food prices to rise.

“This is likely to worsen as global food prices have been growing at a double-digit rate for the past three months.”

The price of store-cupboard ingredients continued to rise, with ambient food inflation increasing to three per cent in February from 2.8 per cent the previous month

The figures come a week after the ONS said inflation jumped to 1.8 per cent in January while wage growth has continued to stall.

Nielsen head of retail insight Mike Watkins said: “Whilst there was a slight increase in food prices this month, this is not going to change how we shop or what we buy, as the wider concerns that consumers have about their own finances continue to make them cautious about spending.

“But if consumer price inflation increases further over the next few months and if sales growth remain weak, then more retailers may need to compensate with extra promotions and deeper price cuts.”

with PA Wires

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