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The United Kingdom's retail pricing activity is consistently up in the majority of consumer categories being tracked by retail analyst Cogenta, with prices over the past six months being consistent with retailers seeking to optimise their share of the upturn in market conditions throughout the key non-grocery sectors. This article is copyright 2014 The Best Customer Guide.

The company's analysis of over 8 million price points daily confirmed that a retail market recovery is now a reality, with major High Street retailers leading the way in using pricing to capture market share.

"At the height of the recession some of the less responsive retailers faced a race to the bottom of the pricing mix. This caused a huge strain on their finance and treasury structures," said Adrian Hobbs, CEO for Cogenta. "But over the past six months the transformation of pricing activity is complete as the market shows clever and buoyant pricing activity by the leading players who are using 'smart pricing policies' to intelligently claim and maintain market share."

John Lewis leads the High Street in the Personal Care and Toy sectors, while and Currys has taken the lead in the market for Small Kitchen Appliances. Marks & Spencer (M&S) is setting the pace in Home and Gardens, and New Look is the most active in the fashion sector.

In addition to highlighting the market leaders, the company's figures also identified retailers that have made less use of price as a tool and concluded that, ultimately, the use of sophisticated pricing policies will play a key role in deciding who gains most from the first stages of the economic upswing.

Cogenta's UK Price Index tracks the 150 biggest UK retailers operating in all major categories outside of the grocery sector, and analyses key aspects of their pricing performance and behaviour.