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TK Maxx accused of misleading shoppers with discounts

TK Maxx has been accused of misleading shoppers by exaggerating original prices and falsely labelling designer stock as current season.

The TJX-owned store offers designer items for up to 60% less, but according to Channel 4’s Dispatches: Secrets of the Discount Stores, screened last night (December 9),the original RRP advertised on products have been inflated to lead customers to believe they are snapping up a bargain.

In one example the TK Maxx RRP for a Rohmir Super Lilli Coat was £2,225, but the designer said the coat originally sold for £800. A Diesel cardigan was priced at £251 in TK Maxx compared to the usual £200 selling price and the price of a £85 French Connection jumper was bumped up to £115 by the discount retailer.

The show also claimed many “designer” items sold in TK Maxx are actually own brand private label products, with names such Arabella and Addison, Kenar, Amaryllis Amphora and Frederik Anderson of Copenhagen.

TK Maxx said the RRPs were established after conferring with the seller.

A statement from the company said:

“We firmly refute the factual inaccuracies and general characterisation of TK Maxx that appeared in a recent media story. Integrity is at the heart of how we operate our business and above all we value the trust of our customers.”

For the first nine months of TJX Europe’s financial year, sales rose 12% to $2.49bn (£1.54bn).

Readers' comments (12)

  • The program told us nothing new, or at least for those in the trade. TK Maxx relies on two main areas - clearance from brands at heavily discounted prices and SMU's.

    The later are of course made 'at a price', the RRP being a fairytale. Indeed, the statement that TK Maxx has given on this subject may well have been written by Hans Christian Andersen.

    The thing is, brands need TK Maxx as a dumping ground for their sales directors mistakes. It has to survive and any bad publicity will be deflected from it. In a word, Collusion.

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  • But will they get fined? Supermarket retailers do, so why not TKMaxx.

    The own label discounting is fraud. Amazing they refute it...

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  • anyone with any common sense knows the game they play so if they shop there, more fool them. and yes, the oft should clamp down on them

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  • The OFT should be called in as this as been going on for years! doesn't the law state before you can show a mark down you must have retailed that product for 28 days at the higher price? show me a full price TK Maxx store!

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  • Hardly a surprise really, the authorities need to look at this as well as other brands who seem to want to control prices, its called price fixing isn't it?

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  • OFT about as useful as a chocolate fire guard - they should be getting a grip of TK Maxx - if it was a supermarket they would be all over them

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  • This is the sort of journalism that Drapers should be doing. Investigating, questioning and not taking a statement as fact. If some brands or retailers don't like it - too bad.

    Will be interesting if Drapers have a opinion on this, or will they shy away?

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  • I know brands that manufacture clearing lines
    For TK maxx , boundary mill ,mccarthur Glenn's
    "Factory outlets".
    Drapers could really dig into this issue and confirm what
    The trade all Know !

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  • Actually it's not price fixing and is not governed by the 28 day rule because TK MAXX show the savings made on the RRP. They do not set the RR which of course is the Recommend Retail Price as set by the brand itself. Last month I bought a stylish Rag & Bone hooded coat for £130 which showed an RRP of £495. Looking on the R&B website that seems about right with a fab saving :)

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  • The RRP's that are stated by TKMaxx's are their responsibility and any blame cannot be positioned on the brands themselves. I've yet to see a true RRP on any of their items - they are always inflated - and you legally cannot have an RRP based on a 'similar product' from a particular brand - copies based on similar style items that are more expensive do not count. It must be the same.

    99/100 you pay for what you get at TK Maxx - there are very rarely 'true' reductions however much you con yourself that you are actually getting one.

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