The past few years have seen a dramatic increase in class actions against luxury fashion brands concerning the practice of affixing allegedly deceptive reference prices on goods sold in outlet stores. According to the plaintiffs in these suits, certain brands mislead consumers by including a “Was,” “Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price,” or similar reference price on the tags of articles made exclusively for sale in outlet stores. Since made-for-outlet goods were never actually sold at the reference price, plaintiffs allege that the reference prices convey fictitious price reductions to entice consumers in violation of various consumer protection statutes.
There are indications that this line of cases is on the decline. But is its end truly in sight?
In an article written for the Luxury Law Alliance Newsletter, Jenner & Block Partner Jeremy M. Creelan and Law Clerk Nicolas G. Keller investigate the answer to this question while providing recommendations to luxury brands that operate outlet stores.