Shop prices fell in April as Brits return to non-essential stores

Shop prices BRC-Nielsen shop price index
Shop price deflation eased to 1.3% in April, compared with the 2.4% decrease in March
// Shop prices fell in April compared with March, according to the BRC-Nielsen shop price index
// Food prices fell for the first time since January 2017

Shop prices have continued to fall in April as non-essential retailers attempted to lure consumers back into stores.

Shop price deflation eased to 1.3 per cent in April, compared with the 2.4 per cent decrease in March, according to the BRC-Nielsen shop price index.

This was above the 12- and six-month average price decreases of 1.8% and 2.0% respectively.


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The drop in non-food prices slowed significantly to 1.7 per cent, down from a decline of four per cent the previous month, with fewer retailers resorting to discounting to lure customers.

This was the slowest rate of decline since January 2020, and above the 12 and six-month average price declines of 3.4 per cent and 3.4 per cent respectively.

Food prices fell for the first time since January 2017, down by 0.6 per cent in April, compared to a 0.3 per cent rise in March.

This figure was particularly affected by fresh food prices, which fell for the fifth consecutive month by 1.5 per cent in April – an acceleration from the 0.8 per cent decline the previous month.

“Prices fell in April year-on-year for both non-food and food,” BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson said.

“The decline in food prices was the result of fewer promotions in the comparison period, April 2020, as retailers tried to deter shoppers from stockpiling before and during the first lockdown.

”Non-food deflation continued, with retailers discounting goods, particularly on last season’s stock as they made way for the latest products ahead of re-opening.

“However, some products, such as furniture, saw prices generally rise due to the combination of high demand and disruption to global supply chains.”

Nielsen head of insight Mike Watkins added: “With the economy reopening we will start to see a rebalancing of consumer spend, and it’s good news that there is still shop price deflation.

“Looking ahead, with many households uncertain about their personal finances, if external cost pressures start to feed through then shoppers may become more price sensitive over the next few months, as lifestyles are adapted to a new normal.”

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