Shop prices fall as high street stores try to tempt shoppers back in


Shop prices fell again in July as high street stores continue to look to tempt people back through their doors, according to new figures.

The latest BRC-Nielsen shop price index revealed that shop prices slid 1.3% in July, as non-food products dropped in value.

However, this represented a slowdown in deflation from June, when prices fell by 1.6%.

Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the British Retail Consortium (BRC), said this was driven by a decrease in the number of promotions on some non-food products such as electricals and furniture amid “pent-up demand” from customers.

Non-food prices fell by 2.9% in July compared with 3.4% in June, according to the figures.

Meanwhile, food inflation remained steady at 1.5% in July, the third consecutive month when prices increased at the same rate.

The price of fresh food increased by 0.9% in July as inflation accelerated, although this was offset by a slowdown in inflation for ambient food, which grew by 2.3% for the month.

Ms Dickinson said: “Falling prices at tills is good news for shoppers and will hopefully tempt more people on to our high streets and retail destinations.

“This remains a difficult time for the industry as a whole and Government could help to mitigate this by supporting retailers and landlords over rent costs and taking action to boost consumer demand.

“Without this, we may see many more store closures and subsequent job losses.”

Mike Watkins, head of retailer and business insight at Nielsen, 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 reopened 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.”