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Price cuts proliferate as retailers aim to attract nervous consumers

02 August 2019 - 09:41 by Graham Miller

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Last month saw a 1.2 per cent fall in average prices for products across UK retail outlets, according to the latest figures from the British Retail Consortium in partnership with Nielsen.

This suggests that many major outlets are choosing to offer significant discounts to customers in order to secure sales at a time when consumer confidence is at a low.

This trend for discounting only applies to non-food products, because the same study also showed that there was a 1.7 per cent year on year increase in food prices.

The BRC divides products into seven categories and in nearly half of these it noted a reduction in prices. Part of the reason for this is that certain product types, such as electronics and clothing, are becoming more affordable because they are becoming cheaper for manufacturers to produce.

However, report spokesperson Mike Watkins said that a lack of certainty surrounding the UK’s economic outlook was prompting heavy discounting and helping consumers to avoid overpaying for certain goods.

Watkins explained that the near future would likely see a similar trend continue, with consumers choosing to hold onto their cash rather than spend it via safe shopping online or the high street.

Competition between retailers is also being pinpointed as part of the reason for the deflation of non-food product prices in July. The cost of everyday food items will keep climbing, although global prices in this area are falling slightly at the moment, which is keeping things in check in the UK.

Once again analysts turn to Brexit as the key component that is causing uncertainty at this time, with further calls for the Government to ensure that free trade between the UK and Europe can continue once the 31st of October deadline has passed.