Furniture chains pledge to change price promotions

The competition watchdog has closed its investigation into five furniture retailers after they agreed to change pricing practices that it said could mislead customers.

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) said Bensons and its sister brand Harveys, along with Carpetright, Dreams, Furniture Village and SCS, have all made changes to their “reference” prices, which are used to compare discounted prices with a higher price in the past.

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In August, the OFT said retailers had artificially inflated “reference” prices on items to promote discounts that were not genuine, making it seem better value than it was.

Gaucho Rasmussen, director of the regulator’s goods and consumer group, said: “It’s a powerful marketing tool which, when used properly, provides a helpful and easy way to demonstrate to shoppers the value of discounts and savings.

“We are therefore pleased that these retailers have confirmed their commitment to using genuine prices.”