Shops rush into Christmas sales
After a slide in the prices of gadgets and fashions, Christmas gifts are at their cheapest for 10 years.
According to the Centre for Economic and Business Research (CEBR), clothes and shoes cost 20 per cent less in real terms than 10 years ago, while flat-screen TVs and MP3 music players have become 5 per cent cheaper in just the past three months.
The CEBR’s report, commissioned by internet bank Egg, follows weeks of price slashing by high street stores fearing a slow festive season.
Richard Hyman, from analyst Verdict research, said “It is going to be a great Christmas for shoppers, who will find their spending budget going even further than last year.
“The current bargains were the result of increased competition among major stores,” he added.
After retail spending fell for the eighth consecutive month in October, retailers including Woolworths, Asda and Tesco have announced early Christmas sales this month.
“The good news for consumers is this competition is here to stay. There is more store space than ever before, and these shops can’t simply close without making huge losses on their leases,” Richard Hyman said.
However, news of the cut-price stocking fillers was eclipsed by spiralling prices at filling stations, the CEBR report warned.
Continually increasing costs of essentials such as petrol and heating were highly responsible for overall price inflation.