Furniture bucks trend of falling shop prices

Shop prices fell by -1.3% in April, a slower decline than the -2.4% decrease seen in March, according to the latest BRC-NielsenIQ Shop Price Index.

This was above the 12- and 6-month average price decreases of -1.8% and -2.0%, respectively.

Non-food deflation slowed significantly to -1.7% in April, compared to a decline of -4.0% in March. This is the slowest rate of decline since January 2020. 

BRC chief executive, Helen Dickinson OBE, says: “Prices fell in April YoY for both non-food and food. Non-food deflation continued, with retailers discounting goods, particularly on last season’s stock as they made way for the latest products ahead of reopening. However, some products, such as furniture, saw prices generally rise due to the combination of high demand and disruption to global supply chains. 

“Falling prices are unlikely to last – in the months ahead retailers will have to battle the cost pressures from Brexit red tape, rising shipping costs due to international supply issues, as well as increasing global food and oil prices. As these costs filter through, retailers may be left with no option but to pass on some of these costs to consumers. The Government can help to relieve this pressure by ensuring that the new checks and documentation requirements this autumn avoid adding further friction to the import of goods.”

Mike Watkins, head of retailer and business insight, NielsenIQ: “With the economy reopening we will start to see a rebalancing of consumer spend, and it’s good news that there is still shop price deflation. Looking ahead, with many households uncertain about their personal finances, if external cost pressures start to feed through then shoppers may become more price sensitive over the next few months, as lifestyles are adapted to a new normal.”

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