Retailers in the UK are offering more discount deals on food and drink as they compete for cash-strapped consumers, the British Retail Consortium has said.

Discounting in the grocery sector is at its highlest level for eight years, the director general of the British Retail Consortium (BRC), Stephen Robertson, told BBC News this morning (13 April).

The BRC said today that the Easter period drove a 4.4% rise in like-for-like retail sales in the UK in March, compared to March 2009.

Robertson's comments on discounting echo similar comments from the drinks industry.

George Marsden, E&J Gallo's vice president for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, said last month that 2009 marked an ""explosion" of discounting on wine. "2009 was all about three for GBP10 (US$15)," he said.