Clothing deflation accelerated during March, according to the BRC-Nielsen Shop Price Index, reaching the deepest levels since the study began.
It found clothing price deflation reached 12.8% last month, with women’s clothing categories above the overall rate.
All categories in clothing and footwear have experienced deflation for seven consecutive months. Deflation in March was above the three month average of 11.6% and the 12 month average of 9.2%. Discounting was a key driver of sales within this category, with a number of retailers using targeted events to entice consumers to spend.
“Retailers have rightly been getting recognition for their contribution to the economic recovery, including good news recently on apprentices and training. But keeping costs down for ordinary people is just as important. And that’s why the continuing deflation we are seeing in shop prices is such good news for consumers,” said BRC director general Helen Dickinson.
“It’s strong industry wide competition as retailers vie for a share of limited spending capacity that is driving this record breaking run. Retailers have been responding to their customers with keen prices and promotions to maintain market share, and March saw the deepest deflation for eight years and the lowest inflation ever recorded for food. With food and drink representing 15 per cent of disposable income for the least affluent third of households, retail’s significant contribution to maintaining standards of living is clear.”