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UK Retail Gets Boost From Non-Food Sector As Price Fall Eases

Wed, 29th Jul 2020 05:08

(Alliance News) - The decline in UK shop prices eased in July, according to numbers on Wednesday, with electricals and furniture benefiting from "pent-up demand".

According to the British Retail Consortium-Nielsen shop price index, shop prices fell by 1.3% annually in July, tempered from a 1.6% fall registered in June. Month-to-month, prices edged 0.1% higher.

July's decline lags behind the 12-month average fall of 0.9% but beat the average six-month price slip of 1.4%.

Non-food prices slipped 2.9% annually in July, beating the 3.4% fall in June and also faring better than the average six-month performance of a 3.1% price decline. The 12-month average decline for the non-food sector stands at 2.3%.

BRC Chief Executive Helen Dickinson said: "Despite firms facing increasing costs, shop prices continued to fall in July, albeit at a reduced pace compared to the previous month. This was driven by a slower decline in Non-Food prices: sectors which saw a release of pent-up demand, such as electricals and furniture, saw fewer promotions. On the other hand, sectors where consumer spending remains weak are under significant pressure - for instance prices for health and beauty products barely moved."

"Falling prices at tills is good news for shoppers, and will hopefully tempt more people onto our high streets and retail destinations."

For the third month on the bounce, food inflation was steady at 1.5%. This is also in-line with the six and 12-month averages.

Nielsen's Head of Retailer & Business Insight Mike Watkins said: "There was no further upwards pressure on shop prices in food during July and deflation continues across the non-food channels. Now that all of retail has re-opened for business, keeping prices stable will be important as it's going to be difficult for retailers to second guess the strength of consumer spend with social distancing measures continuing, and consumer confidence still low."

By Eric Cunha; ericcunha@alliancenews.com

Copyright 2020 Alliance News Limited. All Rights Reserved.

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