OFT investigates Carpetright and rivals over ‘misleading’ promotions


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The Independent Online

The floor-covering specialist Carpetright said it is “co-operating fully” with the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) over the watchdog’s investigation into “misleading” sales practices of furniture, carpet and bed chains yesterday.

The carpet market leader is the first of the unnamed six retailers to break cover – as it is the only listed company among them  following the OFT accusing the firms of artificially inflating prices to make consumers believe they are getting a bargain in a promotion.

In a statement, Carpetright said: “There is no suggestion in the letter of Carpetright having behaved in a manner which breaches competition law. Carpetright strives to operate fully within all laws and regulations at all times.”

The other five retailers under investigation are Dreams, DFS, SCS Upholstery and Furniture Village, and the owner of Harveys and Benson Beds Steinhoff.

Gaucho Rasmussen, at the OFT, said: “Research has found that reference pricing can mislead consumers into thinking the item they have bought is of higher value and quality, pressure them to buy there and then so they don’t ‘miss out’ on the deal and also impair their judgement.”