Regulator finds six carpet and furniture retailers misleading consumers with false price cuts

The Office of Fair trading has found that six high street carpet and furniture retailers are misleading customers by artificially inflating prices to promote sales and price cuts.

The OFT found systematic examples of reference pricing amongst, where the price is artificially inflated, within the industry. During the period that the OFT monitored these six companies the overall average of sales at the reference price was 5 per cent and only one had a reference sale price average higher than 10 per cent (16 per cent).

There were a significant number of products amongst certain high street retailers where no sales at all took place at the artificially inflated reference price. In all cases no explanation of how and when these reference prices were established were provided.