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Retailers Slash Prices to Prompt Consumer Spending

23 June 2020 - 09:29 by Sarah Collinson

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New figures from the British Retail Consortium and Nielsen show that average prices across the industry fell by 2.4 per cent last month, which is the biggest dip seen in almost a decade and a half.

This is higher than the 1.7 per cent reduction that took place in April this year and is seen by analysts as a clear sign that retailers offering non-essential products are keen to keep customers on board during the pandemic.

When the statistics are focused solely on firms selling non-food products, an even steeper 4.6 per cent drop in pricing over the course of May reveals itself, further emphasising the significance of this trend in the uncertain era that the country and the world are in.

Fashion items and furniture were discounted by the largest amount on average, since in both cases these categories represent areas in which consumers have radically changed their priorities in response to COVID-19.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, one of the few areas in which prices actually increased was food, although this is not because of the demand for groceries but as a result of the fact that producers and retailers are having to cope with steeper operational costs.

Experts believe that food and drink will experience price rises for the rest of the year, with social distancing measures in stores and other precautions taken at a supply chain level having a negative impact on retailer profits as well.

This puts consumers in an interesting position in terms of living costs and retail opportunities. While essentials are more costly on average at the moment, anyone who is looking to purchase certain non-essential products via safe shopping online is likely to be able to get a better price in 2020 because of the effects that the pandemic is having on demand.