Many retailers take advantage of consumers emotional behaviors by displaying large sale signs on their store fronts. The signs can be significant like 40% or even 50% off sale. However, once inside the store, consumers believing that merchandise they select ends up being not on sale at all. Most consumers end up paying for the item at full price that they did not intend to purchase; or worse, discover the items were full price only after leaving the store. This type of misleading sale signage may be illegal under the California Consumer Legal Remedies Act (CLRA)
Whether the storefront sign is misleading in violation of the CLRA is based on several factors based on a reasonable consumer. Most retailers have language in smaller letters that clarify what items are on sale, or that the sale does not apply to all items, or some other type of clarifying language that the advertised sale it is “up to” 40% off. Whether there is a viable legal case depends on facts like, (1) whether the limiting language was clear enough to a reasonable consumer; (2), size and font appearance of the clarifying language; (3) whether inside the store, there are further sale signage which serve to notify and clarify to the shopper what is on sale and what the sale discount is for specific merchandise; (4) at the register, was it made clear to the consumer the items was ringing up at full price and not at the advertised sale price.