Shop prices fell at record rates in November as retailers engaged in heavy promotional activity in the build-up to Black Friday.
Data from the British Retail Consortium and Nielsen said prices in UK stores slipped 2.1% in November, matching the record drop reported in March and steeper than the 1.8% decline in October.
It marked the 31st consecutive month that the BRC’s Shop Price Index has reported tumbling prices.
Prices at non-food retailers fell at the quickest rate after reporting a 3.3% drop year on year, driven down by cut-price promotions on clothing, footwear, electricals and gardening products.
In comparison, food prices fell by 0.3%, as raw commodities such as coffee, soybean and cattle feeder suffered double-digit declines.
The data did not cover the Black Friday trading period, but the BRC said retailers slashed prices ahead of the Sales extravaganza to drive customers into stores.
BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson said: “Although the survey period does not cover Black Friday, it is likely that some retailers were discounting early in November in order to spread consumer spending over a longer period. Electricals for instance saw prices down 4.3% on last year.”
Nielsen head of retailer and business insight Mike Watkins said the falling prices were “another welcome boost for shoppers” as they head out on their Christmas shopping sprees.
But Dickinson added that falling prices weren’t such good news for retailers and said that a clutch of government announcements, including the introduction of the national living wage next April, will cost retailers around £14bn over the next five years.
“This trading environment should be considered with the impact of the industry’s regulatory burden,” she said.