Better the devil you know?

So, you think discounting product to the bone is a disease specific to the bike trade? Think again, and thank your lucky stars you dont work in the rag trade...
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According to official figures from the Office for National Statistics, published on 15th August, there was a dramatic slump in the prices of clothes and footwear in the UK last month.

Prices fell nearly 8 percent between June and July, the largest drop since records began in 1947.

The trend was led by womenswear retailers who, on average, slashed 11 percent off their prices.

Prices were 5 percent lower than in July 1999, making it the largest annual fall on record. Clothes prices have fallen every month since the middle of 1998 as fierce competition has led to aggressive discounting by mainstream retailers.

The British Retail Consortium said the figures confirmed the trend in prices was clearly downwards and that the tagline rip-off Britain is clearly false. The BRC's index showed prices of 200 of the most commonly bought goods had fallen consistently over the last three years.

In all retail sectors its the middle ground which is suffering. Discounter corporates dominate the low-end highly-price-conscious market and high calibre independent retailers dominate the high-end quality-conscious market. Those retailers in the middle including huge chains that used to dominate the British high street are being squeezed like never before.

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