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Clothing and footwear shop prices continue to fall in September

The rate of deflation in clothing and footwear prices remained unchanged in September at 10.2%, as overall shop prices fell for a 17th consecutive month.

The British Retail Consortium-Nielsen Shop Price Index found shop prices across all sub-categories within the clothing sector dropped in September, with the price of kidswear, womenswear and other clothing declining by more than the category average.

The report said there had been a “dramatic drop” in cotton prices following reports that they had fallen to the lowest level since 2009 after China, the largest importer of the material, cut back on demand. The report noted the price drop would benefit both retailers and consumers.

Overall, shop prices fell 1.8% compared with the year before.

BRC director general Helen Dickinson said: “The 17th consecutive month of deflation is good news for hard-pressed households. Retailers are turning their attention to Christmas by reading current conditions and matching consumer sentiment well with their promotions and offers. 

“Consumers can take heart that the outlook for inflation remains modest. Falling commodity prices, the strengthening of sterling, benign pressure in the supply chain and, critically, fierce competition across the retail industry suggests lower shop prices for consumers will continue.” 

Mike Watkins, head of retailer and business insight for Nielsen, added: “While sales patterns are still difficult to predict, not least following the unusually warm late summer, we can anticipate a continuation of the current low levels of inflation and even deflation for the rest of the year. This will help shoppers to plan their spending in the run-up to the start of Christmas trading.’’

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