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Christmas discounting by retailers 'hits seven year high'

09 Jan 2014

Retailers employed record levels of discounting in the run-up to Christmas, in a bid to encourage shoppers, a new report has revealed.

The study shows that prices fell at the fastest rate for seven years in December 2013.

According to the British Retail Consortium (BRC), shop price deflation reached 0.8%, compared with 0.3% in November.

While food price inflation slowed from 2.3% to 1.7%, its lowest level in more than three years, non-food annual deflation reached 2.3%, compared with 2% in November.

‘Cyber Monday’ also contributed to high levels of discounting.

Helen Dickinson, BRC Director-General, said, ‘This is the deepest deflation rate since we started compiling the index in 2006, and the eighth consecutive month of falling shop prices. That’s a double whammy of good news for cash-conscious customers, and confirms our predictions that retailers worked hard to help budgets go that little bit further this Christmas’.

However, the BRC has warned that the deep and widespread discounts could come at the expense of profit margins for many retailers.