Emma Sleep using ‘misleading’ discount claims, finds competition watchdog

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has called on UK mattress retailer Emma Sleep to change its selling practices after finding the company’s discount claims could be misleading its customers.

Following an investigation into the business, the regulator found that some discount claims made by the brand weren’t stacking up against the real savings made by customers.

The authority found evidence that only a small number of the retailer’s products were ever actually sold at full price, which meant that the discount didn’t represent a genuine saving.

The CMA also flagged concerns about the company’s use of countdown timers, suggesting that they could be putting unfair pressure on customers to make quick purchases.

It said that when an Emma Sleep ‘sale’ finished, it was soon replaced by another sale, sometimes within 24 hours.

The competition watchdog added that these countdown clocks "risked giving the misleading impression that discounts would soon end, and products would return to full price, when this was often not the case".

“Companies that use fake countdown clocks or misleading ‘discounts’ risk pressuring people into making quick purchases and often spending more money than they otherwise would for fear of missing out,” said Sarah Cardell, chief executive, CMA. “This is especially concerning given the current pressure on people’s pockets.”

The CMA has written to the company asking it to address its concerns otherwise it could risk court action.

Retail Systems has contacted Emma Sleep for comment.

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