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Clothing Prices Down in UK for May

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Prices are falling in England, according to the British Retail Consortium – Nielsen Shop Price Index. Clothing and footwear price falls continued in May, driving deflation in overall prices at the shop for the first time in over three years.

Total shop prices were down 0.1%, but non-food deflation was 1.5%, increasing from 1% in April. More strikingly, clothing and footwear fell by 5.7% in May, 1 percentage point faster than in April. Women’s wear, men’s wear, children’s wear, and footwear all reported quickening acceleration. All subcategories are now deflating, according to the Index.

The month also saw increased discounting, largely blamed on poor weather.

“This led to a greater use of discounts and promotions, particularly on spring products, to stimulate demand, while marked down knitwear was displayed longer than normal,” according to the report.

Helen Dickinson, BRC director general, said that the report corresponded with sales figures released a day earlier. Those figures indicated that retailers had used promotions to increase sales of seasonal stock.

“Non-food deflation accelerated to its lowest level in almost four years, a reflection of the intense competition to capitalize on improving consumer confidence and the late onset of warm weather,” she said.

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