UK: Clothing and footwear deflation slowed in February
UK retailers saw clothing and footwear deflation decelerate sharply during February as seasonal discounts came to an end, research has found.
According to the British Retail Consortium's Shop Price Index, clothing and footwear deflation rates slowed to 4.2% from 7.7% in January. It found that upward pressure was exerted by women's and children's clothing and accessories, all of which reported a "significant fall in their deflation rates".
Footwear and men's clothing also saw deflation rates fall, albeit to a lesser extent.
The research found that retailers are continuing to use a range of promotional activity to drive sales of new collections, which have been impacted by the unseasonably cold weather.
Overall shop price inflation rose to 1.1% in February, from 0.6% in January. Meanwhile, non-food prices fell 0.4% in February compared with a 1.4% fall in January.
"Non-food is less deflationary than the previous month. This is to be expected after the deep discounting of the post-Christmas sales," said BRC director general Helen Dickinson.
"But prices in many categories are still down year-on-year, with furniture and floor coverings showing price falls for the first time in seven months.
"The overall inflation figure is up, another sign that discounting is less extensive than it was in January. But it's still well below the Consumer Price Index of 2.7% - a reflection that, with consumer confidence still weak, retailers continue to do all they can to offer the best possible value.
"And our February sales figures, which showed the strongest sales growth for three years, suggest that customers are responding well to this."
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