Outlet stores

Nike creates fake bargains in outlet stores: lawsuit


The lawsuit says the plaintiff would not have made the purchases – or paid the amount she paid – had it not been for Nike’s “misrepresentations of Nike”.

(Oregon file photo)

Nike is using false pricing information at its outlet stores to trick shoppers into thinking they’re getting a discount that doesn’t exist, according to a class action lawsuit filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Portland.

filed on behalf of California resident Monika Taylor and possibly “thousands” of other Nike Outlet customers, seeks damages in excess of $5 million and seeks injunctive relief and declaratory relief.

In the suit, Taylor, a resident of Orange, Calif., says she walked into a Nike Outlet store in Orange on June 20, 2015, where she purchased several items that “listed an MSRP (suggested retail price the manufacturer) and a lower price OUR.”

Taylor, thinking she was getting a good deal on the items, was “encouraged” to buy the items, the suit says. He says she wouldn’t have made the purchases – or paid the amount she did – had it not been for Nike’s “misrepresentations”.

The lawsuit alleges that the labels and MSRPs listed on Nike Outlet products are “fictional creations designed by Nike to present false pricing information, create the illusion that the manufacturer and seller are not the same parties, allow phantom markdowns and increase sales”.

He goes on to say that there are “no bargains to be had” and that the MSRPs of Nike Outlet products only exist to “create the illusion of a bargain and the words ‘Suggested’ and ‘Our “are only used to deceive consumers into making purchases they otherwise would not have made because they perceive that Nike is offering a product for sale at a lower price than that suggested by the product’s manufacturer.”

The lawsuit accuses Nike of violating California’s unfair competition law by using unfair, fraudulent and illegal business practices. The lawsuit also says Nike violates California’s False Advertising Act, California’s Consumer Legal Remedies Act and the Federal Commerce Act, which prohibits “unfair or deceptive acts or practices in or affecting commerce.” and specifically prohibits misleading advertising.

Additionally, he claims that Nike was “unfairly enriched” by earnings from purchases by Taylor and any other class action members.

A Nike spokesperson declined to comment, citing ongoing litigation.

This isn’t the first time Nike has faced misleading customer claims. Last year, Nike and Apple settled a class action lawsuit that said the companies misled consumers about the accuracy of the Nike+ FuelBand fitness tracker.

Consumers who purchased the tracker within a specified period were eligible for a partial $15 cash refund or a $25 Nike gift card.

-Anna Marum

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