Shop price inflation slows as discounts more than double
Shop price increases slowed in April as retailers more than doubled the number of products on discount to boost sales, figures show.
Shop price inflation fell to 0.4% in April from 0.9% in March as the number of both food and non-food products on offer more than doubled compared to both last year and last month, according to the BRC-Nielsen Shop Price Index.
Retailers have turned to placing more products on offer with shallower price cuts, with the substantial increase in discounting in April “a testimony to shoppers’ reluctance to spend and to the intense competition within the industry”, the British Retail Consortium (BRC) said.
The clothing and footwear category saw the highest growth in promotions, followed by DIY and fresh food.
BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson said: “Consumers will be pleased to see a slowdown in the shop price growth for both food and other goods. This has been driven, in part, by the significant number of promotions that have taken place in April.
“There were more than double the number of product lines on discount this month compared to the previous, as retailers hope to recover ground after March’s disappointing sales figures.
“Intense competition may be benefiting consumers, but is cutting into the already slim margins of retailers. In order to be successful, retailers must invest in both their physical and digital offerings to ensure they can provide the customer experience consumers want.”
Mike Watkins, head of retailer and business insight at Nielsen, said: “The slowdown in shop price inflation this month is welcome news for shoppers who are now facing rising households bills across energy, travel and entertainment.
“However, many households are still cautious about spending, so we anticipate promotions continuing over the summer months to help the momentum in retail sales which was kick started by the late Easter and some warm weather.”