Branded stores sealed for overcharging customers

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Sep 5, 2017-

A market monitoring team led by Supplies Minister Shiva Kumar Mandal swooped on four branded apparel stores on swanky Durbar Marg on Monday and sealed them for overcharging customers, the Department of Supply Management (DoSM) said.

The four outlets that have been shut down are Store One and shops selling Puma, Nike and Bentley brand products. According to the department, these stores lacked invoices and were charging high prices on the pretext of providing festival discounts. 

The monitoring team discovered that the price tags on the products were nine to 23 times higher than the cost price. As per the Black Marketing and Some Other Social Offences and Punishment Act 1975, sellers are allowed a markup of up to 20 percent on the cost price. 

As per the DoSM report, the department sealed Subodh Retail, the operator of Store One, after it failed to produce invoices related to its transactions. The multi-branded store offers casual and formal men’s and women’s wear, suits, blazers, sweaters, denims, footwear, ethnic wear, children’s wear and lingerie from global brands.

Likewise, Sendley the Leather, the seller of Bentley products, has been found to be overcharging customers. According to the DoSM, it has asked the shop owner to appear at the department to provide a clarification after the store failed to produce related paperwork.

The department also sealed Avenue Marketing which stocks Nike brand outfits and footwear for overcharging. The store was found selling shoes costing Rs2,600 to Rs4,700 for more than Rs26,000. The regulatory body has asked the proprietor to come up with a clarification within three days. 

Similarly, the DoSM investigated outfit stores in Kamal Pokhari and Thamel on suspicion of fraud. Monitoring teams probed Pioneer Trade Concern, Lee Kapoor Trade Firm, Galleria and Abhinandan operating at Kamal Pokhari and the City Centre. 

Adventure Outdoor Wear Company in Thamel, Bhatbhateni Super Store in Naxal and Platinum Trade Concern and Labels Stores on Durbar Marg were also among those checked by the department. As per DoSM officials, most of these stores had not maintained proper sales records. 

DoSM Director General Kumar Dahal said they had stepped up action against apparel stores that have been cheating customers as the Dashain festival, when people go on a shopping spree, was just around the corner. 

“We will initiate legal proceedings against them if they are found to have committed fraud after further investigation,” Dahal said.  

Madhav Timilsina, president of the Consumer Rights Investigation Forum, said apparel stores had been charging arbitrary prices in recent days. “The government should take action against offenders to discourage malpractices going on in the market,” Timilsina said. 

Published: 05-09-2017 08:12

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