Shop prices fell during April as furniture sector ‘hit hard’, says latest BRC data.
According to the BRC-Nielsen Shop Price Index for April 2020, Shop prices fell by 1.7% in April compared to a 0.8% decrease in March, becoming the highest rate of decline since January 2017.
Non-Food prices fell sharply by 3.7% in April compared to a decline of 1.9% in March, with the furniture sector, along with clothing and footwear, the worst hit. This is the highest rate of decline since our series began in December 2006.
Food inflation accelerated to 1.8% in April, up from 1.1% in March. This is the highest inflation rate since June 2019.
Helen Dickinson OBE, Chief Executive, British Retail Consortium, said: “Overall, Shop Prices fell in April, with a larger drop in Non-Food prices outweighing the rise in Food inflation. Some Non-Food sectors, particularly Clothing and Footwear and Furniture, were hard hit, as discretionary spending evaporated, resulting in deep price cuts.
“Retailers who remain open face rising costs from implementing social distancing measures, protective equipment and rising import prices, yet they continue to deliver great value on their products. With the UK facing months of economic uncertainty and the prospect of rising job losses, many customers have cut right back on spending.
“A speedy economic recovery is key to rebuilding consumer confidence, but businesses cannot do it alone. The Government has demonstrated great support for the industry and they must be ready to take measures to revive consumer demand after lockdown has lifted.”