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Low demand and “heavy discounting” on fashion keeps shop prices down

Tom Bottomley
31 March 2021

Non-food shop prices fell by 4% in March, 2021, the fastest rate of decline since May, 2020, according to the BRC-Nielsen Shop Price Index.

“Heavy discounting” on clothing is cited as a significant factor, and the March decline of non-food prices was similar to the drop of 3.9% in February, 2021.

British Retail Consortium (BRC) CEO Helen Dickinson said: “Retail prices fell again in March as the third consecutive month of lockdown led many non-food retailers, especially clothing, to heavily discount their products. Low demand and intense competition online will help thrifty consumers find the bargains they are looking for.

Prices of fashion and footwear have seen double digit declines in 11 of the past 12 months, highlighting how those worst hit have been working hard to tempt consumer spending.”

Mike Watkins, Head of Retailer and Business Insight at Nielsen, added: “With consumer spend limited by pandemic restrictions, non-food retailers are keeping any supply side driven price increases to a minimum, and in some cases are reducing prices to encourage shoppers to maintain spending in the run up to Easter.”

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