Mark-Up-To-Mark-Down Not OK In The U.K.

Kohl's (NYSE:KSS) and JCPenney (NYSE:JCP) have been sued for it, and now six U.K. furniture stores have been told by a government regulator to stop raising prices to artificially high levels just so they can immediately mark them down, claiming customers are getting big savings. The U.K.'s Office of Fair Trading sent letters to the six retailers saying that inflated reference prices "can make consumers buy goods when they otherwise would not" and discourages people from searching for a better deal from competitors. The letters also asked the retailers to sign legally enforceable agreements to stop the practice, which it said infringes consumer protection regulations. In fairness, none of the retailers was accused of actually trying to sell anything at the inflated fake prices. If the stores had, maybe they'd be off the hook. Story

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