False Advertising – it’s a term that’s thrown around in jest in the sales and retail industry – but it is certainly not something you’d ever expect to be taken to court for. Several weeks ago, Target agreed to pay nearly $4 million to settle a claim made against them for false advertising in retail. That’s a pretty hefty fine for an activity that many retailers may unknowingly be doing on a regular basis.
The attorney in the case said that “[it is] a fundamental consumer right to be charged no more than the lowest advertised price. Consumers should always notify retailers immediately when they’re being overcharged and demand to be charged only the lowest advertised price”.
The term demand likely sends your skin crawling given the age old debate over the customer is always right. There are instances where the customer surely is not right but in this case, you want to ensure that you and your business are communicating clearly with your customers. The more stores you have, the more important it is to ensure you’re doing the right thing when it comes to clearly advertising your sale items and following through with your promises.
Remember, an unexpected discount is always a pleasant surprise but when expected and not given, it’s a broken promise (and begins to cross the line of false advertising in retail).
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And finally, it goes without saying, if you haven’t truly cut the price of an item, then don’t claim you have. You have, or hope to have many discerning customers who walk in your store every day. Honesty will ensure you maintain a positive and long term relationship with both your current and future customers. A retail store conducted with integrity goes a long way for success.
“The best preparation for good work tomorrow, is to do good work today.”
Date of Post: 2015-03-24