Shop Price Index
Retailers keep prices low
Helen Dickinson OBE, Chief Executive, British Retail Consortium:
UK consumers will be pleased to see another month of falling prices at the checkout. Annual prices in July fell at a faster rate than the previous month due to fierce competition between supermarkets keeping food prices low, and the steeper fall in non-food prices. With the reopening of some holiday destinations and other recreational activities, consumers broadened their spending to include more leisure and travel. In response, non-food retailers, particular fashion businesses, have been working hard to keep consumer appetite alive with summer sales.
Unfortunately for consumers, low prices may not last forever. Recently, retailers have faced huge cost pressures as a result of rising costs of shipping, haulage and petrol as well as frictions from exiting the EU. The additional paperwork and physical checks on EU imports in October and January may push prices up in the long-term. Government should do all it can to minimise the impact on consumers by reducing any further frictions and costly delays where it can.
Mike Watkins, Head of Retailer and Business Insight, NielsenIQ:
It’s an uncertain time for many households as the economy slowly reopens and recent NielsenIQ research shows 41% of all shoppers are watching their spend more than they did before the pandemic. So, it’s important that retailers continue to keep prices low especially as the increase in CPI is likely to lead to different shopping behaviours to help pay for the other increases in household spend.