"False reference pricing" is alleged.
The city attorney of Los Angeles is accusing Macy's Inc. of using deceptive practices in advertising some of its products, including jewelry.
City Attorney Michael N. Feuer is suing the Cincinnati-based retailer in California Superior Court. He claims that Macy's engaged in "false reference pricing."
As an example, Feuer said that on May 20, 2016, the company first offered for sale online a "Giani Bernini Large Cross Pendant Necklace in Sterling Silver," a Macy’s exclusive in-house product. On the first day, it was advertised with an “original” price of $120 and a “sale” price of $30, according to the complaint.
But the purported “original” price of $120 was a false reference price, as Macy’s did not offer the item for sale online for more than $30, according to Feuer.
The city attorney claims that Macy's has used false reference prices for "thousands of products." He claims Macy's violated the Unfair Competition Law and the False Advertising Law.
Macy’s told the Los Angeles Times that it doesn't "comment on litigation matters."
Feuer is also suing JC Penney, Sears and Kohl's on similar grounds, though jewelry is not mentioned in those cases.
In a statement, Feuer said: "Customers have the right to be told the truth about the prices they’re paying — and to know if a bargain is really a bargain."
Feuer is asking that Macy's be enjoined from engaging in the described practices. He is also asking that the defendants be required to pay civil penalties.
Read more at the Los Angeles Times