Price Rises Set To Hit Consumers

(Press Association) – CONSUMERS WILL BE HIT with £10 billion in price rises this year as retailers pass on costs to offset higher import costs, according to research.

The weaker pound is making it more expensive for firms to buy in goods and materials, which is set to see non-food retailers pass on some of the costs in higher prices, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

UK retailers are facing a potential £20 billion bill and can only absorb or mitigate around half of that, cautioned PwC. The news suggests the end of a lengthy bout of deflation in the non-food market, which comes at a poor time for cash-strapped shoppers.

Argos and Homebase parent Home Retail Group reiterated warnings just last week that retailers will be forced to hike prices.

Clothing firms are also braced to increase price tags, as they source a lot of stock from dollar-denominated markets in China and the Far East. New Look and Next are among those to have alerted over possible price shocks for autumn/winter ranges.

PwC said even when they do increase prices, retailers are likely to spread them tactically across product ranges, so that cheap entry-level products are not impacted.

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