The Competition Bureau applies strict standards to retail price claims in Canada
by Daniel Hnatchuk
Regular prices, sale prices, clearance sales – these terms are ubiquitous in the retail world and are a familiar component of marketing strategies intended to convince consumers that now is the best time to make a purchase and to encourage the sale of older inventory. However, retailers and brand owners should exercise caution when reaching too far with claims concerning the regular or sale prices of their products.
The Competition Bureau has recently taken enforcement action against a number of Canadian retailers under the deceptive marketing practices and ordinary price claims provisions of the Competition Act for what it considers to be misleading regular price claims and deceptive clearance promotions. This recent enforcement serves as a warning of the very real risks associated with exaggerating just how good that “deal” pricing is in Canada and as a reminder of the importance of ensuring compliance with the relevant provisions of the Competition Act.
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