Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 17°C

min temp: 9°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

From left, Chris Chamberlain from HTK, Vicki Cole from Crafted and Helen Dodman from Ipswich Central, the three organisations behind the Destination Digital conference.

The company behind the delivery of the Ipswich town centre Business Improvement District project has teamed up with two local digital specialist to stage a conference on online marketing for the tourism and hospitality sectors.

French Connection has warned that it faces a substantial loss when it posts its annual results.

Fashion chain French Connection today warned that it now expects to make a big annual loss after seeing its recovery hopes dashed by a difficult spring trading period.

Andrew Harrison, managing director of Stansted Airport.

Manchester Airports Group, parent company of Stansted Airport, scored a four-star rating in Business in the Community’s 2015 CR Index.

Dominic Casserley, group chief executive of Willis.

Global risk advice and insurance broking firm Willis has launched a 550million euro (£393m) offer to take full control of the French broker Gras Savoye.

Sainsbury's is to cut 800 jobs as part of a restructuring of its store operations.

Sainsbury’s is to cut 800 jobs as it becomes the latest supermarket to restructure its operations in the face of tough trading conditions.

The CWind Sword offshore support vessel.

Colchester-based offshore service vessel manufacturer CTruk has won an order to supply two more of its MPC22 boats to sister company CWind.

Kay Allen, founder of Trading for Good, and Paul Winter, chief executive of Ipswich Building Society.

Ipswich Building Society has been presented with a Responsible Business Award at a Trading for Good East of England event held in its home town.

Savills has agreed a deal to acquire Smiths Gore.

Property services group Savills has agreed the acquisition of residential and rural agency chain Smiths Gore for an undisclosed sum.

Signage outside the Birds Eye factory in Lowestoft.

The company behind the Birds Eye frozen foods factory in Lowestoft has been sold by private equity firm Permira to a acquisition specialist based in the United States.

Tesco has reported a loss of £6.4bn for 2014.

Supermarket giant Tesco has slumped to a £6.4billion annual loss after taking a massive writedown on the value of its property portfolio.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages