Six of the UK’s largest furniture and carpet retailers have changed their pricing practices following an OFT investigation.
SCS, Carpetright, Dreams, Furniture Village and Homestyle-owned brands Harveys and Bensons for Beds have agreed to use genuine reference prices while promoting Sale prices, and, without any admission of liability, have made changes to their reference pricing practices.
The OFT has now closed its probe into the sector.
OFT goods and consumer goods group 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.
“We are therefore pleased that these retailers have confirmed their commitment to using genuine prices.”
Alex Chisholm, chief executive of the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), which succeeds the OFT on 1 April, said: “The CMA will monitor pricing practices within this sector to check whether businesses are complying with their legal obligations. 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 executive chairman Lord Harris said: “We are pleased the OFT has publicly welcomed Carpetright’s commitment to open and transparent pricing. When customers visit Carpetright they can be confident of getting good quality products at a competitive price, which is supported by our price promise.”