British Retail Consortium: retailers are protecting consumers.
The British Retail Consortium has suggested retailers are struggling against rising commodity costs by continuing to discount goods to appease consumers.
Stephen Robinson, director general of the BRC, described a rise in inflation of 1.1 percent during December. This has led to continued discounting into the new year, with the impact of the VAT increase.
Robinson explained: "Retailers know that customers are worried about their jobs and personal finances. The competitive retail environment will mean stores go on doing all they can to limit price rises."
Positively, Robinson added: "Overall shop price inflation is well below the wider Consumer Price Index, though price increases in some non-food goods pushed that figure up slightly compared with November."
Consumer and market analysts Nielsen – who work with the BRC – added: "Price discounting for Christmas began earlier which slowed down the rate of increase in shop prices in December. As there has been no easing of the general upward pressure on cost prices, retailers have had to work even harder to encourage cash-strapped customers to keep shopping."