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Three years of falling prices

Shoppers resist spending as prices continue to fall

David LonsdaleShoppers are continuing to resist the lure of the high street despite prices on non-food goods continuing to fall.

They dropped 2.6% in March, year-on-year, according to the BRC-Nielsen shop price index.

This was the smallest fall for seven months, but it was the 36th month of consecutively falling prices.

Even so, consumers are showing little willingness to splash the cash.

Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the British Retail Consortium, said: “Despite consumer confidence remaining at zero, a relatively benign economic environment and a fiercely competitive market will see retailers continue to respond to their customers with prices and promotions to maintain market share as the spring season kicks off.”

Mike Watkins, head of retail and business insight at Nielsen, said: “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.”

There was a 1.7% overall fall in food and non-food prices.

David Lonsdale, director of the Scottish Retail Consortium, added: “Intense competition in the retail industry is benefitting customers by keeping prices down, good news for Scottish households.

“This should provide a welcome fillip for retailers’ sales volumes, if not necessarily the overall value of their sales. With half of VAT receipts being assigned to the Scottish Parliament our politicians currently vying for election to Holyrood have a direct stake in facilitating a flourishing retail industry and supporting consumer confidence.”

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