Consumer Ombudsman issues final warning to sporting goods retailers

Sale signs in the windows of an Intersport shop in Iso Omena Shopping Centre in Espoo on 18 June, 2015.

The Consumer Ombudsman of Finland has prohibited seven leading sporting goods retailers from using made-up price reductions, misleading recommended retail prices and other methods that may mislead consumers in their advertisement campaigns - writes helsinkitimes.fi.

A violation of the prohibition will result in the issuing of a penalty payment of 100,000 euros.

The retailers in question are Intersport Finland, the operator of both Intersport and Budget Sport; L-Fashion Group, the operator of TopSport; Partioaitta; Scandinavian Outdoor; SGN Sportia; Sportia-Lahti; and Stadium.

Finland’s major sporting goods retailers were summoned to a meeting to review the regulations governing the advertising of price reductions in March, 2016. The retailers agreed in the meeting to refrain from using misleading advertising methods but, despite doing so, neglected to rectify their unlawful practices, according to the Consumer Ombudsman.

The Consumer Ombudsman consequently began monitoring how sporting goods retailers advertise price reductions on their websites in August, 2016.

It determined that the misleading discounts and recommended retail prices were used as a means to lead consumers into believing a particular product was available at a price that has been marked down notably.

The retailers, for example, may have advertised price reductions by referring to recommended retail prices that had never been used. They also sought to boost sales by raising prices temporarily before launching a lengthy sales campaign and offering the products in question at a reduced price.

Similar advertising methods have been used by furniture retailers.

Read other news on the city site of Helsinki.

helsinkitimes
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