FASHION LAW: JC PENNEY UNDER FIRE FOR FALSE DISCOUNTS
JC Penney’s sale pricing strategies have been called into question according to a recent class action lawsuit filed against the super retailer. The case, originally filed back in 2012, alleges that the retail chain engaged in fraudulent business practices that pertained to marking up prices for apparel and accessory items with the intent to trick shoppers with false savings.
The case specifically addresses the longevity of this practice, stating the company ran a “massive, years-long, pervasive campaign” to mislead shoppers. Cynthia Spann, lead plaintiff in this case, purchased three blouses for $17.99 each, a 40% discount from the “original” $30 price only to discover that the price of the blouses was never above the $17.99 price tag in the prior three months. Spann purchased more than $200 worth of apparel and accessories at the store on March 5, 2011 and notes that she was lured into make these purchases based on the company’s comparison of fabricated savings.
This suit estimates the size of the class to be in the hundreds of thousands of customers, who similarly to Spann, made comparable purchases between Feb. 7, 2008 until now and is predicted to total more than $5 million for the class.
Lawyer for the plaintiff class, Matthew Zevin, commented “Price comparisons are not illegal, but it is deceptive if there is no basis for the original price.” JC Penney spokeswoman, Kate Coultas, declined to comment on the company’s behalf stating the retailer does not discuss pending litigation.by