Mitre 10’s “lowest price” claims have earned the store another reprimand from the Commerce Commission, after its investigation concluded the claims risked misleading consumers.
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In-store signage used by 42 Mitre 10 stores during 2016 included claims the retailer had the “Best range. Lowest prices. End of story”. Other signs claimed “We frequently price check to bring you the lowest prices possible every day”.
But the commission’s investigation concluded the signage risked breaching the Fair Trading Act as it was “unlikely that Mitre 10 had the lowest prices on all of the products offered for sale in the stores at the time the representations were being made”.
It’s the second time the retailer has been warned for its “lowest price” claims. In 2011, it received a warning for similar representations that were made in stores and in advertising.
At the time, the retailer said it would stop using the claims. While they were dropped from media advertising, signage continued to be used in some stores.
In a warning issued to the company in August, the commission’s head of investigations Ritchie Hutton said Mitre 10 would face prosecution if it made the claims again. “Mitre 10 should not expect any future conduct of this kind would receive a warning outcome, rather than prosecution,” he said.
Mr Hutton said the commission decided not to prosecute in this instance as the lowest price claims were made in-store only on “legacy signage” that had remained in place or was reused following the 2011 warning.