BRC-Nielsen: cost of Christmas shop lower than three years ago

November took the run of shop price deflation into its 43rd month, with prices falling by 1.7% year-on-year – unchanged from October.

The British Retail Consortium (BRC) – Nielsen Shop Price Index for November reported that non-food deflation increased to 2.3% from 2.1% in the previous two months. This is deeper than the three-month average of -2.2%.

BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson OBE said the performance could be attributed to extended promotions in the run-up to Black Friday.

She added: “These figures once again point to retailers’ effectiveness in controlling the inflationary pressure that continues to build through the devaluation of the pound.

“We have still yet to see any visible impact from the weaker pound on shop prices, but we do expect to see a gradual slowing of the rate of deflation.

“Increasingly value-driven and informed customers mean retailers will have to remain highly competitive. So while we may start to see cost pressures beginning to feed through into prices next year, we don’t expect any sudden spikes or surges – and the timing and extent of increases will differ from one category and retailer to the next.”

Mike Watkins, head of retailer and business Insight at Nielsen, commented: “Shop prices are still falling and deflation will continue to at least the end of the year, as the result of the battle for the wallet of Christmas shoppers.

“Looking ahead, retailers will keep running promotions and campaigns to encourage retail spend and this will continue to help shoppers to save money next year.”

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