The DTI has criticised supermarkets and large electrical retailers for sharp practices in sales promotions.
It said it could not "name and shame individual businesses for legal reasons", but supermarkets were among the worst offenders for making misleading pricing claims.
Consumer affairs minister Melanie Johnson (above) this week announced a review of the code of practice on price indications. Proposals include clarifying guidance on online shopping and on "sharp practice" on sales promotions. Johnson said: "Protecting consumers effectively as possible means we must keep up to date with changes in shopping habits and trading practices."
Practices under scrutiny include failing to remove price comparison posters after the lower prices have been matched by competitors; price comparisons between items of different quality; qualifying the terms of a price reduction in much smaller print; and claiming a price reduction in a multi-branch outlet when the original higher priced item was available in a restricted number of branches only.

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