Shop Price Index
Prices continue to fall despite mounting costs
Helen Dickinson OBE, Chief Executive, British Retail Consortium:
“Shoppers will cheer as non-food prices fell in January, a continuation of the long-term trend in retail. This was tempered by growth in food prices which accelerated to 1.6%, slightly above the 6-month average. Grocery prices could rise further as last year’s increase in global food prices filters through to British shelves; nonetheless, food prices remain low by European standards.
“Rising costs from business rates, minimum wage increases, and the Apprenticeship Levy continue to put upward pressure on prices. When combined with fierce competition across the industry, margins are being steadily squeezed as retailers strive to keep prices low for consumers. The Government should make good on their promise to reform the broken business rates system, doing their part to secure the vibrant high streets British consumers deserve.”
Mike Watkins, Head of Retailer and Business Insight, Nielsen:
"There is no inflationary pressure coming from the high street as shoppers remain nervous about spending and discounting continues for many non-food retailers. Whilst promotions in Supermarkets have returned to more normal levels post-Christmas, the sector remains embattled with fierce price competition which looks set to continue. And after a decline in volumes across food retailing last year, the industry will be looking to stabilise sales in the first quarter."