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Clothing and footwear deflation decreases

Discounting has led clothing and footwear prices to fall 0.8% month on month in April, after declining 0.3% in March, according to the British Retail Consortium and Nielsen.

April saw the first drop in the deflation level for clothing and footwear in three months, reaching 11.3% from 12.3% in March. This means April’s rate dropped below the three-month average for clothing of 12%, but above the 12- month average of 9.8%.

However, both categories remain well above the BRC/Nielsen Shop Price Index, with overall shop prices decelerating for the 12th consecutive month in April to 1.4%, from 1.7% in March.

Discounting was a key driver of sales within this category, with a number of retailers using targeted events to entice consumers to spend, Nielsen said.

BRC director general Helen Dickinson said: “Retailers will continue to respond to cost-conscious consumers by keeping prices down. We’ve also seen some excellent deals in clothing and footwear.”

Head of retailer and business insight at Nielsen Mike Watkins said: “Over the last six months we have seen shop prices falling and in recent weeks stabilising. Whilst consumer confidence is slowly improving, shoppers remain cautious. So retailers are holding back on price increases wherever possible.”

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