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Asics reported to have halted supplies to UK independent sports shops.

4 Jul 2023

The Guardian has reported independent sports retailers saying their businesses are under threat after Asics said it was cutting off supply to hundreds of small UK outlets, joining Nike and... Read more…

Half of young European consumers find it acceptable to buy fakes.

4 Jul 2023

A new study on the perception of consumers towards intellectual property published by the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) has found that although 80% of Europeans believe... Read more…

Elmy Cycles featured in Daily Express ahead of Independents’ Day weekend.

29 Jun 2023

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“AI has the potential to revolutionise the way retailers operate,” says Theo Paphitis

28 Jun 2023

Former Dragon Theo Paphitis has predicted retail will be revolutionised by AI technology.
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The Association of Convenience Stores publish their Crime Report of 2023

23 Jun 2023

The report estimates that there were over 1.1m incidents of theft reported last year. The most commonly stolen items as reported by retailers are meat, alcohol and confectionery –... Read more…

How fine food retail can be part of the solution to ultra-processed food

19 Jun 2023

Scientists and researchers have compelling data, showing ultra-processed food could be responsible for several health conditions – a recent piece in Speciality Food Magazine set out to... Read more…

PayPoint launches digital shopper marketing platform

19 Jun 2023

Retailers will be able to drive customer spend, digital media use, push new product development and increase sales and distribution, claims PayPoint, following the launch of a new digital... Read more…

High streets of the future will need to think beyond retail, says new report

19 Jun 2023

Just 42% of people in the UK rate their local high street as good or very good, according to the latest Legal & General Rebuilding Britain Index.
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Stellar line-up for Independent Bookshop Week

19 Jun 2023

A stellar line-up of authors have been taking part in this week’s Independent Bookshop Week 2023 with the likes of Ann Cleeves, AJ Pearce, Danielle Brown, poet laureate Simon Armitage and... Read more…

Bira calls for level playing field as Amazon UK Services pays zero corporation tax again

8 Jun 2023

Bira, the British Independent Retailers Association, has expressed its concern and frustration after it was revealed that Amazon UK Services had, for the second consecutive year, paid zero... Read more…

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Competition watchdog warns online retailers on pressure-selling tactics

Posted on in Business News, Cycles News

The UK's competition watchdog has announced a crackdown on online pressure-selling tactics that can push consumers into making hasty decisions they later regret.

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The Competition & Markets Authority has written to online businesses to warn them about its "red lines" on urgency and price reduction claims such as "10 people are watching this now," "Hurry, today only!" and countdown timers for deals.

Such claims can be acceptable if true, but the CMA is warning they will breach the law if they are false or misleading or place unfair pressure on consumers.

The letter reads: "These claims have a legitimate place when they alert consumers to genuine special offers or provide helpful information about current selling conditions.

"However, we have become concerned about claims that may mislead or put unfair pressure on consumers in the UK.

"Such claims may be illegal under consumer protection regulations, harm consumers by distorting their behaviour and put fair-dealing businesses at a disadvantage."

The CMA is inviting consumers to report online rip-offs through a new digital reporting form.

The Online Rip-Off Tip-Off campaign, fronted by Martin Lewis Money Show co-presenter Angellica Bell, aims to crack down on practices that could break the law and encourages shoppers to be aware of online scammers.

The campaign aims to enable consumers to spot and avoid misleading online sales tactics and to report businesses that engage in them.

The tactics include pressure selling, hidden charges, subscription traps and fake reviews, which are all designed to "mislead and push people to part with their cash online".

A survey of 3,700 UK adults for the CMA found that 67% say cost-of-living pressures have made them more desperate to find the best deals, while 71% believe they are "saving money" by purchasing deals that are on offer – some of which may not be genuine.

It also revealed 24% of consumers have fallen victim to "sneaky" online sales tactics, while 23% did not realise that tactics such as "15 mins left of sale" or "buy now" can sometimes be false or misleading.

Some 68% thought these types of misleading tactics should be banned.

Bell said: "Some online businesses are using sneaky sales tactics to make us part with our money when household budgets are already stretched.

"We all feel the pressure of securing bargains, making us more susceptible to being ripped off. It's frustrating when this happens, and it's time we call out these online retailers and report them to the CMA."

CMA Senior Director for Consumer Protection George Lusty, said: "Now more than ever, every penny counts, and the CMA is concerned that some businesses are using underhand tactics designed to part shoppers from their cash.

"This poll is just the tip of the iceberg as we believe the true number of victims of these rip-offs is much higher as they are often extremely difficult to spot.

"That's why businesses using urgency and price reduction claims need to consult the CMA's new advice. It outlines what businesses need to do when designing their online shopping experiences to be sure they comply with the law."

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