Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 17°C

min temp: 12°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Retail: OFT ends investigation after furniture and carpet firms agree to change pricing practices

10:01 21 March 2014

Five carpet and furniture retailers have agreed to amend their pricing practrices, following an investigation by the Office of Fair Trading.

Five carpet and furniture retailers have agreed to amend their pricing practrices, following an investigation by the Office of Fair Trading.

Five furniture and carpet retailers have changed their pricing practices following an investigation into the way discounts are advertised.

shares

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) said today that it has closed its investigation after SCS, Carpetright, Dreams, Furniture Village and Homestyle’s trading brands Harveys and Bensons for Beds confirmed their commitment to using genuine prices.

The inquiry looked into the reference prices used by retailers to advertise a bargain to shoppers, such as “Was £800, Now Half Price £400”.

The OFT said the retailers confirmed their commitment to using genuine reference prices and, without any admission of liability, made changes to their reference pricing practices.

The regulator did not give specific examples but said the higher price was unlikely to be genuine or fair if a product was only available to buy at a higher price in a limited number of stores, the discounted price was used for significantly longer than the higher price or if relatively low volumes of a product were sold at the higher price.

OFT director Gaucho Rasmussen said: “Retailers advertise bargains and discounts by referring to a previous or future higher price.

“It’s a powerful marketing tool which, when used properly, provides a helpful and easy way to demonstrate to shoppers the value of discounts and savings.”

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), which succeeds the OFT next month, has pledged to continue to monitor pricing practices within the sector to check whether businesses are complying with their legal obligations.

CMA chief executive Alex Chisholm said: “Companies are advised to satisfy themselves that their practices are in line with the law because failure to do so could risk enforcement action.”

Carpetright chairman Lord Harris said: “We are pleased the OFT has publicly welcomed Carpetright’s commitment to open and transparent pricing.”

shares

1 comment

  • Devastated by this decision, had these companies been smaller family firms they would have been prosecuted and fined. The OFT has already stated what they were doing was illegal yet they get away with it. Whilst blatantly flouting the law they have caused many smaller family firms to close down due to their misleading pricing structures which smaller companies cannot compete even if they wanted to. It is a sad day when independent traders are let down by government bodies in such a manner, these companies should fined pro-rata to the damage they have caused smaller traders in the past which if implemented would force them out of business to the overall benefit of all consumers.

    Report this comment

    Peter

    Friday, March 21, 2014

Uncertainty over Government policy is holding back potential investment in the offshore wind sector, according to East of England Energy Zone director James Gray.

The absence of a clear Government stategy is leaving the offshore wind industry “in limbo”, according to a leading figure within the sector in East Anglia.

The rate of growth in the UK economy rebounded during the second quarter of 2015, but the manufacturing sector continued to struggle, according to official figures.

UK growth bounced back in the second quarter of 2015 as gross domestic product (GDP) increased by 0.7%, according to official figures.

Ransomes Jacobsen operations director Simon Rainger addresses staff as the company's last Ransomes Commander mover leaves the production line.

Staff at Ipswich-based turf maintenance machinery maker Ransomes Jacobsen have marked the end of an era, with the last Ransomes Commander mower having rolled off the production line.

Charles Manning on the new patio area at Bears Boutique Bar and Bowling in Star Lane, Ipswich

Businessman Charles Manning is pleased with the way his Bears bowling bar and grill is fitting into the entertainment offer in Ipswich – and with the business community.

Barker Gotelee has welcomed Lucy Underwood, conveyancing assistant, Linda Crawford, solicitor, Nicky Sunderland. trust and estate planning practitioner, and Lisa Hobbs, junior secretary.

Ipswich-based law firm Barker Gotelee has welcomed four new employees across its expanding business.

A Ryanair aircraft atStansted Airport.

Budget airline Ryanair today reported a 25% jump in earnings for the first quarter of its new financial year.

Alton Towers in Staffordshire.

Alton Towers owner Merlin expects annual earnings for its theme parks business to drop by as much as £47million this year following last month’s rollercoaster crash.

Artist's impression of how an office development in Sheepen Road, Colchester, could look

A council has managed to secure tenants for a new office development before work has even begun on building it.

Manufacturers in the East of England are in confident mood, according to a new report.

Manufacturers in the East of England are helping to lead the way in exports and business confidence, according to a new report

Tom Gillman of Crafted.

Mediterranean Shipping Company, which has its UK head office in Ipswich, has launched a new global website, designed and built by locally-based digital agency Crafted.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages