Two women have filed a lawsuit against Kate Spade for falsely advertising original prices and corresponding price discounts on goods at one of its outlet stores. Plaintiffs Gaylia Pickles and Donna Vandiver filed a proposed class action lawsuit last month in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California against Kate Spade, alleging false advertising, deceptive trade practices, fraud, and unfair business practices. According to the suit, Kate Spade doctored the price tags on its outlet items in order to appear as though the goods at issue were sold at higher, non-sale prices, in order to mislead consumers. The tags on goods in Kate Spade’s outlet stores display a former retail price, "our price," as well as the discounted price. The problem with that: The goods were never offered for sale that the higher prices, in violation of California state law.
One plaintiff alleges that she purchased a handbag from a Kate Spade outlet that had been advertised for $142, seventy percent off the listed retail price of $355. She claims in the lawsuit, however, that the bag was never intended for sale at the higher price. Instead, it was produced “exclusively for sale at the outlets and never intended to be sold at non-outlet stores.”
The lawsuit further states:
These purported original ‘our price’ prices and corresponding price reductions and savings were false and deceptive, as the prevailing retail price for the handbag during the three months immediately prior to plaintiff’s purchase of such item was no more than $142.00 and not the $355.00 original ‘our price’ represented by Kate Spade. Plaintiff would not have purchased the handbag in the absence of Kate Spade’s misrepresentations.
The named plaintiffs and other unnamed plaintiffs that have joined the lawsuit purchased items from Kate Spade outlet stores relying on such false representations, the suit states. As a result, they are asking the court to order Kate Spade from continuing the actions described herein, and to award them damages, including attorney fees and the costs of filing suit.
This suit comes on the heels of a similar one, which was filed against Michael Kors last year. Kors ultimately settled that suit out of court, agreeing to pay a total of $4.88 million to make up for years of deceptive price tags. Discount department store TJ Maxx is currently facing a similar lawsuit, as well.