Competition Bureau sues HBC over alleged deceptive regular price claims and clearance sales
February 22, 2017 – OTTAWA, ON – Competition Bureau
The Bureau has taken legal action today against the Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) for what it considers to be deceptive regular price claims and deceptive clearance promotions for mattresses and foundations sold together as sleep sets.
The Bureau’s investigation found that HBC has engaged in deceptive marketing practices by offering sleep sets at grossly inflated regular prices and then advertising deep discounts on these prices suggesting significant deals to consumers. The Competition Act ensures that retailers do not entice consumers by making reference to an inflated regular price when advertising sales.
It is also alleged that HBC misled consumers into thinking that it was selling its remaining on-hand inventory during “clearance” and “end of line” promotions, when HBC was actually ordering new factory fresh sleep sets to fulfill each new purchase.
The Bureau has filed an application with the Competition Tribunal seeking an end to what it considers to be deceptive marketing practices, and the payment of an administrative monetary penalty by HBC.
“Today’s application to the Competition Tribunal is about providing consumers with accurate and truthful information when making purchasing decisions. Savings claims must always reflect real discounts. The Bureau will continue to take all appropriate action in order to ensure that consumers are provided with honest information.”
Commissioner of Competition
- Regular price comparison claims have a powerful effect, because consumers seek out good deals.
- This makes regular price representations and related savings claims powerful marketing tools that must be truthful.
- HBC has been making the representations at issue throughout Canada, since at least March 2013.
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