UK clothing prices continued to fall in March

UK clothing prices continued to fall in March

UK clothing and footwear prices continued to decline in March and, although at a slower pace than the prior month, retailers are hoping this drives store traffic throughout the spring. 

Clothing and footwear price deflation marginally slowed to 6.8% from February's 6.9% decline, according to the monthly BRC-Nielsen Shop Price Index.

Upward pressure was exerted by women's accessories and women's clothing, both of which reported a deceleration in their deflation rates. This outweighed accelerating deflation in the footwear, men's and children's clothing and babywear categories. 

On a month-on-month basis, clothing and footwear prices fell 0.2% in March, lower than the 0.3% fall in February. 

Overall, shop prices reported deflation of 1.7% in March from 2% in February, marking the 35th consecutive month of price drops. 

"Despite consumer confidence remaining at zero, a relatively benign economic environment (inflation remains very low and oil is trading at just under US$40 per barrel) and a fiercely competitive market will see retailers continue to respond to their customers promotions to maintain market share as the spring season kicks off," said BRC director general Helen Dickinson. 

Mike Watkins, head of retailer and business insight at Nielsen, added: "Shoppers are still making changes to how they spend to stay within their household budget and looking out for price cuts and promotions is one of the ways to save money. 

"So with shop prices continuing to be lower than a year ago this is good news for shoppers. With spring arriving, retailers will be hoping that this drives store traffic as so far this year, retail sales have been rather unpredictable."