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FG reopens popular Abuja store sealed for deceptive pricing

The Federal Government said Sahad Stores was reopened after it agreed to implement transparent pricing practices.

FG reopens popular Abuja store sealed for deceptive pricing [Twitter:@Naija_PR]

The decision comes barely 24 hours after the commission sealed the stores over an allegation of deceptive pricing. The FCCPC accused the supermarket of failing to show transparency in how it fixed product prices.

It stressed that the store was culpable of bait-and-switch pricing by displaying lower prices on shelves while charging higher prices at checkout.

The commission said the practice had been leaving the customers with no option but to pay for items at higher prices than anticipated, describing the act as “violations involving misleading pricing and lack of transparency.”

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However, FCCPC, in a statement by its acting Executive Vice Chairman, Adamu Abdullahi, on Saturday, February 17, 2024, disclosed that Sahad Stores had been reopened for operation after its temporary closure.

It said the store was reopened after it agreed to implement transparent pricing practices.

“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 statement partly read.

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The commission urged businesses “to display transparent pricing information to empower consumers to make informed purchasing decisions, especially during challenging economic times.”

The FCCPC also reiterated its commitment to combating all forms of exploitative or misleading practices that undermine consumer rights, stressing its role in protecting consumer rights and prohibiting deceptive business practices.

"Section 115 outlines potential penalties for violations, including fines for organisations and imprisonment for directors," it warned.

On what led to the initial sealing of the store, Abdullahi recalled that the commission had investigated Sahad Stores on January 8, 2024, 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.

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“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,” he explained.

We “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,” the statement added.

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