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Shop prices down 1.8 percent in January

By Danielle Wightman-Stone

3 Feb 2016

British shop prices fell slightly by 1.8 percent year-on-year in January, following a 2 percent drop in December, meaning that prices have fallen for the 33rd month in a row.

The figures released by the British Retail Consortium and Nielsen in the monthly shop price index show that non-food deflation remained at 3 percent, after a similar drop in December, driven by retailers slashing prices across clothing, footwear, books, DIY, stationery and home entertainment to attract consumers.

The British Retail Consortium claims that the overall decline in shop prices as a result of “continuing intense competition and retailers’ ongoing investment in price”.

British Retail Consortium chief executive, Helen Dickinson, added: “Higher levels of consumer confidence are currently translating into other parts of consumer spending – in leisure, entertainment and eating out - rather than into shopping which is providing the backdrop to a tough trading environment for retailers but great news for shoppers.”

Mike Watkins, head of retailer at Nielsen, which collates and analyses the data on behalf of the British Retail Consortium, said: "Sales momentum in January has been slow for some retailers with shoppers seeking out the best prices online and in store, and this competition is helping keep non-food shop prices lower than a year ago.

"Many seasonal lines have also come off promotion which will have moved food prices upwards a little, but there is still no general upward pressure on prices."