The Commerce Commission says it has filed 16 charges relating to misleading conduct under the Fair Trading Act 1986 in the Auckland District Court against Bikes International Ltd and Bike Retail Group Ltd (which both operate as Bike Barn).
The charges relate to alleged misrepresentations which were made during 25 marketing campaigns by Bike Barn between July 2013 and June 2015.
Bike Barn imports and distributes bikes and accessories in New Zealand. it has around 20 stores, with 15 owned by Bike Retail Group Ltd and the remainder owned by independent franchisees.
The Commission says it alleges in particular that Bike Barn's marketing campaigns were likely to mislead consumers about:
- The savings customers would make on the purchase of bikes. "For example, bikes were advertised as 'half price' when in fact they were usually sold at that price."
- There being a limited opportunity to get bikes at particular prices. "For example, Bike Barn advertised a 'clearance' sale, when in fact the bikes were available at the 'clearance' price before and after the clearance sale."
The Commission says Bike Barn has co-operated with its investigation and indicated that it intends to plead guilty to the charges.