UK shopper have been urged to celebrate three years of falling non-food prices on the country’s high streets.
According to the British Retail Consortium overall shop prices reported deflation of 1.7% in March. Although this compared with a 2% decline in February, the BRC said March was the 36th month in which shoppers have benefitted from falling prices.
Non-food deflation rose to 2.6% in March from the 3% fall in February. Food deflation remained at 0.4% for the second consecutive month.
“This month shoppers can celebrate three years of falling non-food prices. They are falling as a result of continuing intense competition and retailers ongoing investment in price,” said Helen Dickinson OBE, chief executive of the BRC. “Despite consumer confidence remaining at zero, a relatively benign economic environment with very low inflation and oil trading at under $40 a barrel, and a fiercely competitive market will see retailers continue to respond to their customers with prices and promotions to maintain market share as the Spring season kicks off.”
Mike Watkins, head of retailer and business insight at Nielsen, added: “Shoppers are still making changes to how they spend to stay within their household budget and looking out for price cuts and promotions is one of the ways to save money. So with shop prices continuing to be lower than a year ago this is good news for shoppers. With Spring arriving, retailers will be hoping that this drives store traffic as so far this year, retail sales have been rather unpredictable.”