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Extinguished: ABC Bargain Centre, Valu$, ABC Express to remove ‘fire sale’, ‘closing down sale’ ads

SINGAPORE — Retailers ABC Bargain Centre, Valu$, and ABC Express have agreed to stop using misleading “closing down sale” and “fire sale” advertisements at all outlets, the Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore (CCCS) announced on Friday (Oct 16).

Extinguished: ABC Bargain Centre, Valu$, ABC Express to remove ‘fire sale’, ‘closing down sale’ ads

A Valu$ store located at Lorong 6 Toa Payoh. All Valu$, ABC Bargain Centre and ABC Express outlets have agreed to stop advertising that they are having a "final" sale, unless they are really closing down.

SINGAPORE — Retailers ABC Bargain Centre, Valu$, and ABC Express have agreed to stop using misleading “closing down sale” and “fire sale” advertisements at all outlets, the Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore (CCCS) announced on Friday (Oct 16).

These advertisements were displayed without any end date and could mislead consumers into thinking that the discounts are available only for a limited period of time, CCCS said.

Misleading advertisements are a breach of the Consumer Protection (Fair Trading) Act, which protects consumers against unfair practices.

Consumers may mistakenly believe that there is a genuine price benefit for the products and make hasty purchases. They also give the supplier an unfair advantage over others who do not put up such advertisements, CCCS said.

All three retailers — which supply and sell household items and packaged food and drinks — agreed to remove advertisements with the words “fire sale” and stop advertising discounts when there is no actual price advantage.

The outlets also agreed to stop advertising products as being discounted only for a limited period when they know that the products will be discounted for a longer duration, unless they are truly ceasing operations.

ABC Bargain Centre and Valu$ will also notify their franchisees to remove the advertisements.

CCCS said that it is monitoring other businesses that engage in similar unfair practices.

Suppliers should refer to the CCCS Guidelines on Price Transparency for more details on practices that may breach the law. Consumers who encounter unfair practices may seek help from the Consumers Association of Singapore.

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CCCS consumer protection discount shopping advertisement

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