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Wickes ‘50% discount’ advert banned after retailer hikes prices

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A Wickes advert offering investors a 50 per cent discount on a kitchen has been banned by the competition watchdog after the retailer doubled prices on the same day.

Wickes had advertised a 50 per cent multi-buy discount for a Heritage Bone showroom kitchen on its website in August and September, starting at £2,086. The multi-buy discount was available for customers who bought five or more units.

However, the DIY retailer raised prices for each unit on the day of the promotion, which cancelled out any potential savings for the customer.

As a result, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) received six complaints, including one from consumer group Which?.

After assessing the complaints, it concluded that as a unit bought as part of the ‘50 per cent off’ multi-buy offer cost the same as it had before the promotion began, it meant consumers would not make a saving against what they would otherwise have paid for a full kitchen before the multi-buy offer was introduced.

“We considered that the claimed saving was also not genuine for that reason,” the ASA added.

Andy Barr, co-founder of alertr, a site allowing customers to track products from online retailers for price drops, commented: “Brands may have been able to get away with dodgy deals like this in the eighties and nineties, but in today’s money-savvy and transparent era, this kind of rip-off “discount” won’t actually work. Hopefully Wickes and other retailers will learn an important lesson from this!”