Deceptive Discount Offers
General Nutrition Centers, Inc. and GNC Holdings, Inc. are putting aside $6 million to settle a class action alleging that GNC “misrepresented the existence, nature, and amount of price discounts on products for sale on its website, www.GNC.com...” The complaint alleges that the companies violated state consumer protection laws and common law.
A group of popular clothing companies—The Gap, Inc., Gap (Apparel), LLC, Gap International Sales, Inc., Banana Republic, LLC, and Banana Republic (Apparel), LLC—are settling a class action on the issue of false reference pricing.
The retailer New York & Company is settling a class action involving both its retail stores and its outlets. The complaint alleged that both retail stores and outlets advertised false discounts on merchandise.
Class actions have been brought against number of famous brands for false “original” pricing in their outlet stores on merchandise that was made to be sold cheaply. This case alleges a new twist on such false reference pricing, by extending it to a company’s main stores, catalog, and website. The complaint claims that Eddie Bauer, LLC’s clothing and other goods are not expected to be sold at their original prices. It claims that the majority of the time, the company runs “sales” offering certain percentage discounts, sometimes on “everything.”
Fossil Group, Inc. and Fossil Stores I, Inc. are settling a class action claiming they engaged in deceptive advertising when they placed false reference pricing on outlet-only merchandise at outlet stores in California.
In recent years, many brand-name stores have opened outlet stores in which customers believe they can buy merchandise from the main stores at deep discounts. But this is not always true. Some companies are offering direct-to-outlet lines and only pretending to offer deep discounts, to induce customers to think they’re getting a bargain. The complaint for this class action claims that Chico’s FAS, Inc. does this as well.
Eddie Bauer, like a lot of brand-name stores, operates outlet stores which carry “direct-to-outlet” merchandise. Unfortunately, like a lot of outlet stores, the complaint for this class action alleges, Eddie Bauer outlets use false reference pricing to make customers think they’re getting a bigger bargain than they are.
When customers see a large discrepancy between an “original price” on an item and the current price, they believe that they are getting a bargain. But this is not always true. The complaint for this class action alleges that Kate Spade & Company put false reference prices on merchandise at its outlet stores to give the false impression of a bargain.
Swisher International, Inc., Plaid Pantries, Inc., and Plaid Pantry, Inc. are setting aside $2.5 million plus attorneys’ fees and costs, class representative awards, and administrative costs in order to settle a class action centering on promotions for cigarillos.
Burlington Coat Factory is settling a class action alleging that it displayed false reference pricing on merchandise in its stores in New Jersey.