Shop price inflation slowed down in April due to heavy discounting across clothing and footwear categories, new figures have shown.
The BRC-Nielsen Shop Price Index (SPI) has revealed that shops decelerated prices in April to 0.4%, from 0.9% in March.
This is above the 12-month average inflation of 0.1%, but below the six-month average inflation of 0.5%.
Meanwhile, non-food prices decreased by 0.6% in April, compared to March when they were flat. This is above the 12-month average price decline of 0.8%, but below the six-month average decrease of 0.3%.
April saw a significant pick-up in promotional activity, according to the SPI. The number of both food and non-food discounted product lines more than doubled, compared to both last year and last month.
The clothing and footwear category saw the highest growth in promotions, followed by DIY and fresh food.
Helen Dickinson, CEO of the British Retail Consortium, 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. However, investment comes at a cost and unless the government acts to reform the broken business rates system we may find more store closures and job losses on the horizon.”