Van Heusen and Tommy Hilfiger have been hit with putative class actions in New York by DeNittis Osefchen Price, P.C., alleging that they engaged in a uniform policy, systematic scheme and common course of conduct involving the use of deceptive and misleading sales practices in the sale of consumer goods at their outlet stores otherwise known as “fake sales.” Specifically, the lawsuits allege Van Heusen and Tommy Hilfiger offered items for sale at their outlet stores and make misrepresentations regarding the amount of the purported price reduction at which Van Heusen and Tommy Hilfiger are offering to sell those items. At every Van Heusen and Tommy Hilfiger outlet store in the United States, including New Jersey, Van Heusen and Tommy Hilfiger employ a uniform policy of placing a tag on each such item that bears two different prices. A fake original price and then a sale price based on the fake original price. The average consumer seeing such a tag in a store would understand the use of these two prices on the tag to be a representation by Van Heusen and Tommy Hilfiger actually sold or offered for sale the item at the higher original price for some length of time, and that these retailers are currently offering to sell that item at a discounted price, measured as a reduction off that actual prior price. However, the lawsuits allege the original prices in which these sales are based are completely fake which results in consumers getting no discount at all. Indeed, federal and New Jersey law specifically requires a seller to not lie or be misleading when offering garments for sale. Specifically 16 C.F.R. § 233.2(a) provides:
(a) Another commonly used form of bargain advertising is to offer goods at prices lower than those being charged by others for the same merchandise in the advertiser’s trade area (the area in which he does business). This may be done either on a temporary or a permanent basis, but in either case the advertised higher price must be based upon fact, and not be fictitious or misleading. Whenever an advertiser represents that he is selling below the prices being charged in his area for a particular article, he should be reasonably certain that the higher price he advertises does not appreciably exceed the price at which substantial sales of the article are being made in the area – that is, a sufficient number of sales so that a consumer would consider a reduction from the price to represent a genuine bargain or saving.
If you believe you were subject to a fake sale at a Van Heusen or Tommy Hilfiger outlet store, or any other retailer store, please contact our office for our office to investigate and determine if your rights have been violated.