Clothing price deflation continued to accelerate in August

Clothing price deflation continued to accelerate in August

UK clothing prices continued to fall in August, accelerating year-on-year from July, as retailers discounted heavily in an attempt to shift stock.

Clothing and footwear price deflation deepened to 5.4% from 4.9% in July, according to the BRC-Nielsen Shop Price Index. Although women’s and children’s clothing and apparel accessories remained significantly above the overall category rate, the latter reported a slight rise in its deflation rate. The footwear segment saw an acceleration in its deflation rate, while babywear reported a deceleration in its inflation rate.

On a month-on-month basis, clothing and footwear prices were flat after falling 2% in July.

Overall shop prices reported deflation of 1.4% in August – unchanged from July, while non-food deflation accelerated further to 2.4% from 2.3% the month before.

“A relatively benign economic environment and a fiercely competitive market will see retailers continue to respond to their customers with prices and promotions to maintain market share,” said BRC director general Helen Dickinson.

Mike Watkins, head of retailer and business insight at Nielsen, added: "Consumer confidence continues to increase but many shoppers are still unable or unwilling to spend freely, so retailers are continuing to offer high levels of promotions and price cuts.

“The underlying trend is for price deflation across both food and non-food retail and with shoppers now back from summer holidays we can expect some good deals and attractive pricing for shoppers over the next few weeks.”