Abuja store sealed for ‘Misleading Pricing’ Now Reopened by Fg

The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission has reopened a popular Abuja supermarket, Sahad Stores, after its temporary closure.

 

The commission had, on Friday, February 16, sealed the stores for a lack of transparency in the way it was fixing prices for products.

 

The commission stated that while the store displays lower prices on shelves, it charges higher prices at checkout.

 

It said the behaviour had been leaving customers with no option but to pay for items at higher prices – an act which the FCCPC labelled as “violations involving misleading pricing and lack of transparency.”

 

 

In a statement issued by the commission’s acting Executive Vice Chairman, Adamu Abdullahi on Saturday, Abdullahi noted that the stores had been reopened for operation.

 

The statement read, “On February 16, 2024, FCCPC operatives visited Sahad Stores and confirmed through random checks that the deceptive practice did not only continue, but cashiers also charged prices at their discretion, leaving unsuspecting customers vulnerable to unfair pricing.

 

“Exercising its authority under Section 18(f), the Commission temporarily sealed the premises.

 

“However, following a mutual understanding and commitment from Sahad Stores to implement transparent pricing practices, the FCCPC reopened the store on February 16, 2024, at about 7 p.m.”

 

 

The FCCPC urged businesses “to display transparent pricing information to empower consumers to make informed purchasing decisions, especially during challenging economic times,” while stating its commitment to “combating all forms of exploitative or misleading practices that undermine consumer rights.”

 

The FCCPA stressed its role in protecting consumer rights and prohibiting deceptive business practices, adding that “section 115 outlines potential penalties for violations, including fines for organisations and imprisonment for directors.

 

It encouraged all businesses to adhere to fair and transparent pricing practices to ensure consumer protection and a healthy market environment.”

 

Giving a background to the initial sealing of the store, the commission recalled that on January 8, 2024, it “investigated Sahad Stores following reports of misleading pricing practices.

 

“The investigation revealed that Sahad Stores displayed lower prices on shelves and charged higher prices at checkout, contravening Section 115 of the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Act (FCCPA) 2018.

 

“The investigation included all Sahad Stores branches in Abuja to ensure a comprehensive understanding of the issue and implement corrective measures across the entire chain.”

 

The statement added that the commission “promptly issued a summons to specific Sahad Stores staff, asking them to appear on February 12, 2024, to discuss corrective measures,” noting that “the staff failed to appear without justification, raising concerns about potential violations under Section 33(3) of the FCCPA.”


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