Summary of Action
This type of fictitious pricing comparison, in which the outlet stores attempt to persuade consumers to think that they are receiving a great bargain, diminishes consumer welfare, undermines price competition, and takes sales away from honest retailers. It is a misleading marketing ploy that is incredibly effective at persuading consumers to stop searching for the best deal they can find, and results in consumers paying more than they necessarily need to.
As a result of these findings, TINA.org sent warning letters to each of the four stores identified as using this fictitious pricing tactic, urging them to stop the deceptive marketing immediately. TINA.org also alerted the Connecticut Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Department to this issue as the findings clearly suggest that the practice is widespread and therefore should be addressed on a state-wide basis.