Shop prices fell in December thanks to Christmas competition

This Christmas saw some deep price cuts, as stores ramped up the competition to secure sales, reports.

Whilst Christmas may typically be seen as a time when shops charge full price in order to capitalise on the huge volume of people looking to buy, this year saw a sharp decline in prices, as shops and marketplaces put their competitiveness at centre stage.

Following price drops in November that averaged 0.3 per cent, December saw further falls – reaching 0.8 per cent by the year’s end.

Whilst these figures, published in the BRC-Nielsen Shop Price Index, are related to physical stores, the trends are thought to have been replicated online as well. Not only, analysts claim, is this because of the historically lower prices for online shopping, but also because of the increase for stores to offer price matching in a bid to steal customers from their competitors at the eleventh hour.

Looking further into the findings, analysts claimed that much of this average price decline could have come from heavy discounting during the so-called ‘Black Monday’ – the first one of December after the previous month’s paycheck has cleared. As yet more shops start offering Black Monday discounts, the monthly price index is likely to be affected even more than usual.

Explaining further, head of retailer and business insight at Nielsen, Mike Watkins, told “With the continuation of price cuts and promotions across all of retailing and with many shoppers holding back on shopping to the last week, there will have been bargains and some great savings for the savvy Christmas shopper.”


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