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Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s Targeted for Price Scheming

Department store conglomerates Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s have been price scheming, according to a class action lawsuit filed in a California court. The allegations stem from two plaintiffs’ experiences purchasing merchandise in the stores. Kristin Haley and Sylvia Thompson, residents of California and Florida, respectively, are regular shoppers at both stores. The complaint details what amounts to several violations of state and federal consumer protection laws.

Price scheming is a broad term for a retailer intentionally misrepresenting the original price of an item in order to create the illusion that the sale reduction is greater than it actually is. These “phantom markdown schemes” violate rules set by the Federal Trade Commission. The Commission dictates that when a store advertises an “original” or “suggested” retail price, that price must correspond to a substantial number of prices where the item is being sold.

For example, Haley purchased a $17.00 Lennox ornament at Macy’s that the store claimed was originally priced at $60.00. The store advertised on the item’s label a savings of approximately 70% off the retail price. However, $60.00 for the ornament was not the prevailing market price preceding ninety days of Haley’s purchase, which must be the case, according to the FTC.

Thompson purchased a Beautyrest mattress at Bloomingdale’s for 50% off the “$5,089.00 Original and Regular Price,” as advertised in the store. However, the mattress did not sell at this price in a manner substantial enough to warrant the store’s discount claim.

The complaint details several other examples of misleading discounts within both stores. Often the language on the tags reads, “Compare at,” with a line through the “original” cost, next to the price at which the item is selling. Yet, the “Compare at” tags lack any information regarding where and when the item may be located at this original price.

Allegations in the suit include unfair, fraudulent, and unlawful business practices, and false advertising, along with state consumer law violations.

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Consumer

Most Recent Case Event

Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s Targeted for Price Scheming Complaint

December 23, 2015

The complaint for this class action alleges that department store conglomerates Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s have been price scheming, in what amounts to several violations of state and federal consumer protection laws.

macys_outlet_complaint.pdf

Case Event History

Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s Targeted for Price Scheming Complaint

December 23, 2015

The complaint for this class action alleges that department store conglomerates Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s have been price scheming, in what amounts to several violations of state and federal consumer protection laws.

macys_outlet_complaint.pdf
Tags: Deceptive Advertising, Deceptive Discount Offers, Deceptive Labels