Hudson's Bay Company (including Top Shop / Top Man) | Page 58

Discussion in 'Retail' started by samsonyuen, Oct 28, 2005.

  1. narduch

    narduch Active Member

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    I always understood this rule to be that you have to actually sell a certain number of units at the regular price before you can start claiming discounts.

    I guess this is what the Bay is being accused of.

    I always wonder how retailers like Canadian Tire and Toys R Us can produce weekly flyers with items 50-70%. How does a store like Fearweather always seem to have the entire store on sale?
     
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  2. Skeezix

    Skeezix Senior Member

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    Agreed. But it is not illegal to charge inflated prices (buyer beware). It is also not illegal to then put those products on sale when nobody buys them at the stupidly inflated price. But it is illegal to be deceptive about the "regular price" (in comparison to the sale price) unless the product was offered in good faith for sale at that regular price for a substantial period of time, or a substantial volume of the product was sold at that price within a reasonable period of time.
     
  3. Skeezix

    Skeezix Senior Member

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    The Competition Act. It is illegal to claim that a product is, for example, 50% off the regular price, if the product was never offered for sale at that regular price for a substantial period of time, or they never sold a substantial amount of that product at the regular price.

    So, a company can't charge $1000 for a widget, and claim it is 50% off the regular price of $2000, if they didn't actual sell the widget for $2000 for a substantial period of time, or sell a few widgets for $2000. In other words, you can't make up a fake regular price to make the sale price look good.

    It is not illegal to "grossly inflate their prices". Retailers can charge whatever they want. That's why your link to the silly-looking jeans is irrelevant. They weren't on sale. Completely beside the point. The Bay is entitled to sell ugly jeans to stupid people for as much as the market (or stupid people with money to burn) will bear.

    You did, in fact, accuse them of breaking the law. You posted a link to an article on the Competition Bureau charges and said that they seemed to be doing the same thing with clothing. Normally people expressing the possibility that a company is breaking the law should have some grounds for doing so. Thus me asking if you have any proof. You seem to have mistakenly thought the law prevented retailers from charging inflated prices, which it does not, which explains your comments.
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2017
  4. junctionist

    junctionist Senior Member

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    I noted that they're accused of breaking the law and provided the link for more information. I didn't make the accusation myself. I think the link to the jeans is relevant because I sometimes shop at the Bay. They have weekly sales. I see items like expensive jeans sold at significant markdowns but still at high prices, and it makes me wonder if it's just a deceptive game. Do they actually set the base prices at something that at least a few people will pay (e.g. $445 for those jeans)?
     
  5. Tuscani01

    Tuscani01 Senior Member

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    Simple answer... we follow the law. We can't advertise something as being on sale more than once every 5 weeks. (I believe it was 5 weeks, don't quite remember as I have moved out of that side of the business - but we adhered to the law 100% of the time and it is strictly enforced when planning flyers)

    You normally see 50-70% off on product that is purchased from vendors at significant discounts. Since we only purchase product once at a time, we arrange deals with vendors for larger purchases. We then offer the product to consumers by passing that discount on. Sometimes the discount is simply a loss-leader, where we take a loss on the sale just to drive traffic. Once that inventory is sold through, we then have to repurchase more stock from vendors at their regular pricing - meaning the cost goes back up until another opportunity buy comes up - and since we don't have space to hoard tonnes of product, the order for that flyer is put in based on how much stores order. We don't order extra, and sometimes even have to reduce the amount of product stores receive to make sure stock is distributed fairly.

    Most retailers set their regular prices at a reasonable point, as you never want to rely on discounts to survive. You want to make money off regular sale prices, not discounted.
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2017
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  6. Skeezix

    Skeezix Senior Member

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    Except it's not a crime at all to sell clothes for high prices and then offer them on sale. Or to just offer them at high prices.
     
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  7. junctionist

    junctionist Senior Member

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    If the practice is to set a very high price with the hope of generating sales down the road by marking the items down as "on sale" , then a consumer may be able to recover damages in the courts if the consumer was deceived into buying the item because it was presented as discounted. When you see an item sold for half its supposed value, you may think you're getting a great deal and buy it. But you're not getting a great deal if the original price was grossly inflated. I think it would be caught by the tort of fraud. Committing a tort means violating someone's legal rights. Violating someone's legal rights is typically remedied by the courts through a damages award. If the damages are too small to make an individual lawsuit worthwhile, a class action can still make justice attainable for consumer plaintiffs.
     
  8. Tuscani01

    Tuscani01 Senior Member

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    And what exactly counts as an over-inflated regular price? There is no law saying a retailers needs to keep their profit margin at 'x' level. Some product has ridiculously high profit margins, while some don't. It's entirely up to the retailer, and that price is dictated largely by supply and demand. That variable margin is what allows a retailer to deeply discount something like toilet paper - with low margins, by charging more for something like a drill which has a higher margin.

    The only law that regulates what counts as regular pricing is the Competition Act, and the Competition Bureau has absolutely no say in profit margin decisions, and you'd have no case in the courts arguing that a retailer is charging too much for a product at regular price... especially since purchasing a product is entirely your choice. If you don't like the price, you don't have to purchase.

    The Competition Act, while mostly there to protect the consumer, would also protect the retailer in your case, assuming the retailer has met the conditions of the test that determines whether or not they are presenting a false or misleading regular price - which as I mentioned, nearly all retailers strictly adhere to.
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2017
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  9. Johnny Au

    Johnny Au Senior Member

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    We don't see IKEA, Casper, or Endy having regular prices for mattresses be absurdly expensive.

    Hudson's Bay needs to be more transparent in how their products are priced.
     
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  10. Skeezix

    Skeezix Senior Member

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    No. From a legal perspective, that's simply not true. You're just making things up.

    The tort of fraud? Because you think a retailer is charging too much for ugly jeans? Good luck with that.
     
  11. Skeezix

    Skeezix Senior Member

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    The whole industry needs to be more transparent. Right now, the retail sale of mattresses has all the credibility and reliability of used car sales and payday loans. A pox on all their houses, including the manufacturers, which assist by making it more challenging to price compare among retailers.
     
  12. ShonTron

    ShonTron Moderator

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    It's like household appliances. There are many brands and models owned by only a few companies, sold mostly at mattress chains or department stores. It makes it very difficult - intentionally so - to price-compare, or leave online reviews.

    I think that's why Casper and Endy came out of nowhere with their no-nonsense pitches.
     
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  13. Skeezix

    Skeezix Senior Member

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    Exactly. Try price comparing major brand mattresses online at the websites of the main retailers - Leon's, Sleep Country Canada, Hudson's Bay, Sears, etc. etc. You generally can't do it. Each major retailer has its own mattress styles and names from the major brands. You really have to do your homework to figure out that the Simmons Serene Signature (I'm just making up names here) at Sleep Country is largely the same as the Simmons Optimum Dream at Sears. So, not only is comparing prices very difficult, online reviews are also more difficult to find because the same mattress is sold under dozens of names, depending on where one bought it.

    Our next mattress will likely be from Endy.
     
  14. Johnny Au

    Johnny Au Senior Member

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    Don't forget about the various softness/firmness of mattresses (even within the same brand) being sold at different prices!

    Major mattress manufacturers need to understand why Casper and Endy are doing so well.

    Yes, I'm considering Endy for my next mattress.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2017
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  15. Johnny Au

    Johnny Au Senior Member

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