An Aberdeen sofa store has been fined for misleading customers about its sale prices.
Trading Standards launched an investigation into ScS at Kittybrewster Retail Park after it claimed that all of its products had been reduced for its Black Friday sale in November 2017.
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In fact, the chain had increased the prices of three of its settees by hundreds of pounds just days beforehand – and used the offer of a £25 voucher to justify the claim that prices were being slashed.
Parent company A Share & Sons Ltd appeared at Aberdeen Sheriff Court yesterday, where it admitted to lying to customers about the extent of the sale.
Sheriff Ian Wallace said: “I do not view this as an oversight.
“It was a planned act by the company purposefully misleading its customers for financial gain.”
The court heard that city council workers had been monitoring sofa prices in store for several months as part of a nationwide investigation checking that retailers were following pricing laws.
By doing so, they were able to prove that the sofa chain’s claims of savings had not been genuine.
As a result, ScS was fined £6,000.
Aberdeen City Council Trading Standards manager Graeme Paton said: “I am very concerned that this retailer appeared to have been ignoring the law relating to unfair trading in this manner by engaging in misleading sale practices.
“In one instance the company had increased the price of a sofa by £800 three days prior to a Black Friday promotion offering a £25 discount.
“Such practices are unfair, not only by misleading consumers in Aberdeen and the north-east but also by placing the many local and national retailers who trade fairly at an unfair disadvantage.”
An ScS spokeswoman said: “It was never our intention to mislead our customers and as such we acknowledged that more consideration should have gone into the promotions available at the time.”
She said that all offers and end dates are listed on the store’s website and added: “Unfortunately, in one particular instance, our promotion strategy for three sofas around Black Friday was deemed to have been misleading for customers.”