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Guidelines for the Retail Sector on Price Promotions

Introductory Offers/Post Promotion Offers

The use of introductory offers is a common and acceptable feature used by traders in circumstances where a trader wishes to market a new product, introduce a special offer or promote a new sales outlet or business.

In these instances the product is offered for sale at a special promotion price for a particular period before reverting to the standard market price.

It should be made very clear that the special offers in this context are introductory promotions.

These offers should indicate what the retail price(s) would be once the introductory promotion is finished. At the end of the promotion period the normal price should apply.

A trader should not call a promotion an "introductory offer" or "post promotion offer" (or similar) in circumstances where it is not intended to offer the particular item for sale at the higher price at the same outlet once the offer period is over.

A trader should not allow a special promotion to run for so long that it would be misleading to describe it either as an "introductory offer", "special offer" or similar.

A trader should state the date the offer will end and keep to it. Extensions of the sale promotion period should only be made where there are valid reasons that warrant the extensions.

If the trader includes a disclaimer that he/she has the right to extend the promotion he/she should be able to substantiate the reasons for the extension.

If a trader is comparing a special offer price with a "future price" which was not made by the manufacturer, he/she should ensure that this "future price" is realistic and should be one that reflects the normal market value of the particular product.

In determining the normal market value of a product, the trader should take account of the following:

  • The invoiced cost of the product, and all other costs such as delivery, sales distribution, contribution to overheads etc; and
  • The price at which the item could be normally sold, in sufficient quantities (having regard to the type of product involved)

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