• Monday, March 20, 2023

UK News

Newham Trading Standards service closely monitors local retail practices to protect buyers

Vintage toned portrait of a young beautiful brunette woman in London second hand marketplace. She is wearing casual clothes, black knitted sweater, looking through the second hand market stalls.

By: Shubham Ghosh

The Newham Trading Standards service has carried out several visits to retailers in Green Street to ensure that buyers get a fair treatment in local shops especially at a time of the cost-of-living crisis.

The service officials conducted 151 visits, including in clothing, hardware and pound shops, to assess price compliance, restrictive statements and sale offers, Newham Council has said.

One of the aims of the Trading Standards visits was to ensure that all items clearly carry their prices so that a fair trading environment is created and businesses get a level-playing field. The council said while the cost-of-living crisis was affecting consumers and businesses, there were also concerns that some of the information, pricing and advertising about items on sale misled the buyers.

The visiting officials also found signage or statements claiming to restrict the consumers’ statutory rights to a refund, repair or replacement.

Green Street is home to lots of Asian-owned shops.

It was found that 53 per cent of the businesses had refund notices that were non-compliant, misleading advertisements or failed to function as per law or pricing practice guidance. Also, more than eight per cent of businesses were found to be not displaying their prices correctly while nearly four per cent of them did not display reduced price offers clearly.

As a counter measure, all non-compliant signage or misleading price offers were removed instantly.

Forty-seven per cent of the businesses were, however, functioning well and provided fair and transparent pricing.

Newham Trading Standards will continue with the checks and address non-compliant practices throughout the borough, it was learnt.

“During this cost of living crisis, we want all our residents and visitors to be treated in an open, fair, honest, and transparent manner. We must place our residents and visitors in a position where they can make an informed purchasing decision. At a time when every penny counts, we must make sure shoppers are properly protected, councillor Carleene Lee-Phakoe, cabinet member for crime & community safety, said.

She added, “Newham Trading Standards service is working to support business growth and investment within the borough, which will help build a thriving local economy.

“Our Trading Standards team are working hard to ensure that they identify any issues of non-compliance within the borough, and will continue to take decisive action where necessary, applying the appropriate level of advice or intervention.”

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