UK Retailers Increased Discounts and Promotions to Boost Sales | News & Analysis

UK Retailers Increased Discounts and Promotions to Boost Sales

LONDON, United Kingdom — British retailers discounted their goods a bit more aggressively in August than in July as they sought to get customers back after the coronavirus lockdown earlier in the year, industry data showed on Wednesday.

Average shop prices in August were 1.6 percent lower than a year before, compared with a fall of 1.3 percent in July and a record 2.4 percent tumble in May, the British Retail Consortium said.

August’s fall was driven by bigger price declines of 3.4 percent for non-food prices, compared with a 2.9 percent drop in July.

“Many retailers have continued to run promotions and sales in order to entice customers to spend and make up for lost ground during lockdown,” BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson said.

The availability of fresh, seasonal produce allowed food inflation to ease to 1.3 percent in August, down from 1.5 percent in July, Dickinson said.

Figures from the Confederation of British Industry published last week showed an unexpected weakening of retail sales in the first half of August, raising concerns that a bounce-back in consumer spending after the lockdown might be short-lived.

The BRC shop prices survey was conducted between August 3 and August 7.

By William Schomberg; editor: Andy Bruce

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