SINGAPORE — As of 30 September, ABC Bargain Centre, Valu$ and ABC Express are no longer using “Closing Down Sale” and “Fire Sale” advertisements at all of its retail outlets.
In a statement from the Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore (CCCS) on Friday (16 October), CCCS said the owners and operators had approached the agency in 2019 to discuss certain advertisements in its outlets.
Before this, advertisements bearing the phrases “Closing Down Sale” and “Fire Sale” were displayed prominently at their outlets. “Advertisements bearing such language convey the impression that the reason for the discounted price is due to impending closure of the business, and that the discounted price would only be available for a limited period of time,” said CCCS.
Given that these advertisements were displayed continuously without any end date, such advertisements can mislead consumers into believing that there is a price benefit, and the benefit would only be available for a limited period, noted the agency.
Advertisements which mislead consumers constitute an unfair practice in breach of the Consumer Protection (Fair Trading) Act.
The three parties have therefore voluntarily undertaken to remove any and all advertisements containing the words “Fire Sale”. They will also not advertise products as being available at a discounted price at its outlets where no genuine price benefit or advantage underlying the advertisement exists.
Given that certain retail outlets trading as “ABC Bargain Centre” and “Valu$” are operated by franchisees, the parties have undertaken to notify and ensure that all franchisees adhere to the obligations mentioned above.
“In accepting the Parties’ voluntary undertakings, CCCS has noted the Parties’ co-operation to ensure that its advertising practices comply with the CPFTA. However, CCCS reserves the right to investigate any breach of the undertakings or any other unfair practices by the Parties,” said the agency.
Consumers who encounter unfair practices can approach the Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE) for assistance. For more information, please visit www.case.org.sg or call 6100 0315.
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