BUSINESS

Restrictions on special offers at retail stores to be lifted

By Dimitra Manifava

The Development Ministry is considering lifting all restrictions concerning special offers at retail stores so that they can take place at any point during the year in order for traders to liquidate stock when they need to.

The existing regulations will be replaced by a code of conduct to protect consumers from abuse where special offers are concerned, as well as promotional activity and sales. The code is scheduled to be issued by October 7 through a Development Minister decision.

Ministry sources say that while the code will allow traders greater flexibility, it will also make the framework whereby sales and special offers are communicated and advertised easier and much more succinct.

The code will be based on that which applies in the United Kingdom, which clearly describes the various forms of offers and restrictions. In response to reservations expressed mainly by consumer groups, the ministry stated, “Codes often tend to be stricter than laws.”

The ministry has not yet decided on how binding the code will be. Although it will be imposed through a ministerial decision, it remains unknown whether violators of the existing regulations will have their penalties canceled. It is possible that a committee of employer and consumer group representatives will be tasked with the supervision of the code’s implementation.

Online