Carpetright has confirmed it is one of the six furniture retailers that are being investigated by the Office of Fair Trading over their Sales practices.
Retail-week.com revealed last night (August 22) that retailers to have received letters from the OFT warning them of the investigation are thought to be Carpetright, DFS, Dreams, SCS, Furniture Village and Harveys/Bensons for Beds. However, the OFT, which announced the investigation today (August 23), is not planning to disclose the names of the retailers under investigation.
Although the retailers are being investigated, there is no certainty that they will be found to have broken the rules on Sales promotions.
Carpetright said in a statement: “Carpetright received a letter from the Office of Fair Trading in respect of a consultation under Section 214 of the Enterprise Act 2002, relating to Carpetright’s pricing practices and consumer protection legislation.
“Carpetright strives to operate fully within all laws and regulations at all times.
“Carpetright is co-operating fully with the OFT and will respond to the letter in due course.
“There is no suggestion in the letter of Carpetright having behaved in a manner which breaches competition law.”
A Furniture Village spokesman said it would be “inappropriate” to comment until the findings are published. He added: “Furniture Village is fully supportive of any initiative which ensures that, industry-wide, future pricing policies and practices are fair and accurate.”
Sources told Retail Week that a consultation period is set to kick off as the OFT looks into the retailers’ Sales practices. It is thought the OFT wants to determine, among other things, whether or not furniture retailers are inflating the prices of goods in order to sell them through a Sale at a more attractive discount.
The move comes as furniture retailers prepare for the bank holiday weekend, traditionally one of their busiest periods.
Industry sources suggested that the OFT was seeking to flex its muscles in order to demonstrate its value.
The OFT declined to comment.