Shop prices slide amid post-Christmas sales & lockdowns

Shop prices slide amid post-Christmas sales & lockdowns
The slump was driven by a sharp decline in the price of non-food items.
// BRC-Nielsen Shop Price Index for January says prices slid by 2.2%, compared to 1.8% in December
// Non-food prices slid by 3.6% in January, compared with a 3.2% fall in December
// Food inflation eased to 0.2% in January, falling from 0.4% growth in December

Shop prices have plunged further this month as post-Christmas sales and shop closures caused retailers to discount stock heavily, according to new figures.

The BRC-Nielsen Shop Price Index for January has revealed that prices slid by 2.2 per cent, as deflation accelerated from 1.8 per cent in December.

The slump was driven by a sharp decline in the price of non-food items during the month.


Non-food prices slid by 3.6 per cent in January, compared with a 3.2 per cent fall in the previous month.

“The January blues may have been slightly eased for many consumers thanks to ongoing falling prices this month,” BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson said.

“Post-Christmas sales and the national lockdown drove non-food prices down – especially for clothing and DIY goods.”

Dickinson said food prices also rose at their slowest for four years as supermarkets fiercely compete to offer the best value to hard-up customers.

Food inflation eased to 0.2 per cent in January, falling from 0.4 per cent growth in December as the Big 4 supermarkets continue to put pressure on prices to compete with German discounters Aldi and Lidl.

Fresh food prices fell for the second consecutive month, sliding by 0.8 per cent, while ambient food prices rose by 1.7 per cent, after they slowed from 2.3 per cent growth in December.

“January is always a difficult month for retailers after the increased spending over Christmas and New Year and the impact of the return of lockdown has been further price deflation in non-food, as retailers keep prices low to encourage shoppers to spend online,” Nielsen head of retailer insight Mike Watkins said.

“Food retailers remain locked in a battle for market share and continue to cut prices and food price inflation is lower than this time last year.

“Looking ahead, we can expect some turbulence in shop prices as the industry navigates through the impact of the EU trade deal, the increasing pressure on disposable incomes, and the uncertainty of when non-essential retail can fully reopen.”

with PA Wires

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