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Coronavirus: UK shops keep slashing prices to lure back customers

Tom Belger
·Finance and policy reporter
·1-min read
Shoppers cycle on Santander bikes on Oxford Street, London, as non-essential shops in England open their doors to customers for the first time since coronavirus lockdown restrictions were imposed in March. Picture date: Monday June 15, 2020.
UK shops have cut prices to lure back shoppers. Photo: PA

UK shops continue to slash prices to lure back shoppers as the economy struggles to recover from the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown, new figures show.

Average prices dropped by 1.6% in shops in June year-on-year, according to analysis by market research firm Nielsen for the British Retail Consortium (BRC).

It marks the thirteenth month in a row of falling prices, and comes after a 2.4% decline in May, which marked the greatest fall since 2006.

Goods other than food saw the steepest declines, suggesting ‘non-essential’ retailers are cutting prices most to shift stock after the shutdown or tempt customers with demand still subdued.

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Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the BRC, said: “Consumers have benefited as shop prices have fallen for the thirteenth consecutive month, however the situation for many retailers, such as those in clothing and footwear, remains very challenging.

“Sales have dropped significantly since mid-March and two thirds of businesses are reporting turnover below pre-crisis levels, meaning there is a serious risk to jobs as a result. The government should focus on stimulating demand in the economy and restoring consumer confidence.”