Troubled retailers slashing prices

Nearly three-quarters of high street retailers have cut prices in a bid to win more custom, according to new figures from accounting firm PwC.

Nearly three-quarters of high street retailers have cut prices in a bid to win more custom, according to new figures from accounting firm PwC.

The level of discounting is deeper than recent years, with average price cuts of 47 per cent, compared to 45 per cent in 2011 and 2010.

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Some 73 per cent of stores were offering discounts, PwC found. While this was only slightly higher than last year’s figure of 70 per cent, it was up sharply from the 40 per cent seen in 2009 as the recent wet weather put off shoppers.

Christine Cross, chief retail adviser to PwC, said: “Clothing purchases are weather related and canny consumers also know mid-June means worried retailers who need to clear stock to leave room for new lines.”

She said the food sector was having a harder time than clothing or homewares, as shoppers sought out more bargains.

Recent figures from research firm Kantar Worldpanel showed discount supermarkets Aldi and Lidl enjoyed the strongest sales growth during the 12 weeks to 10 June, up respectively 24.7 per cent and 11.1 per cent.

Waitrose saw its sales rise 7.5 per cent, while sector leader Tesco was up just 1.8 per cent.

Cross said retailers will be hoping for some late summer sun and the Olympics to boost trading.