Discounting drove sales of clothing and footwear last month

Discounting drove sales of clothing and footwear last month

UK clothing and footwear prices continued to decline in January, albeit at the same rate as December, with discounting a key driver of sales.

According to the latest Shop Price Index from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) and Nielsen, deflation in clothing and footwear stayed at 9.9% year-on-year in January - the same as December.

While all categories in clothing experienced deflation, women's clothing and babywear were above the overall December level. 

Discounting drove sales of clothing and footwear, with a number of retailers using targeted events to entice consumers to spend.

On a month-on-month basis, clothing and footwear prices declined 5.3% after a 0.2% fall in December.

Overall UK shop prices fell for the ninth consecutive month in January, accelerating to 1% from 0.8% in the prior month - marking the deepest level of deflation since December 2006.

Non-food reported annual deflation of 2.7% in January, up on last month's 2.3%.

BRC director general Helen Dickinson said: "January is always a key month for sales and promotions but discounts have been deeper and more widespread than last year and we are seeing this trend continuing.

"Our figures show that there have been particularly good deals to be had in clothing, furniture and electrical items this month as retailers prepare for their new collections."

Mike Watkins, head of retailer and business insight at Nielsen, added: "The start of 2014 has seen a continuation of both slow retail growth particularly in food, and a continuation of slowing inflation.

"With the first few weeks of January a time when many households take stock of personal finances, the fall in shop price inflation will be a welcome boost for consumers."