Kohl's, Macy's, JCPenney and Sears sued for 'false' discounts

Four major retailers have been sued by the Los Angeles city attorney's office, the Los Angeles Times reported.

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According to the four separate lawsuits, filed Thursday in Los Angeles Superior Court, claims  J.C. Penney, Sears, Kohl's and Macy's sales advertised high regular prices on items that never sold for that price "in order to create a false sense of value and to persuade customers to purchase the merchandise at an allegedly reduced 'sale' price," according to a post on the Los Angeles city attorney website.

"Customers have the right to be told the truth about the prices they're paying -- and to know if a bargain is really a bargain," Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer said in a statement on his website. "My office will fight to hold retailers responsible for their practices and to ensure consumers can make informed choices when spending their hard-earned money."

Feuer cites multiple examples from each retailer in each individual suit. The suit against J.C. Penney claims the store never offered a maternity bathing suit top for sale at the $46 price listed as original and "offered the item at a 'sale' price of $21.99, false advertising a discount from the $46 false reference price." The suit also claims the item was listed on clearance at $14.99 with the same "false reference price."

In the Macy's suit, one example claims that a cross pendant necklace had a $30 sale price and a "false reference price" of $120.

One example in the Kohl's suit claims the company sold a women's maxi dress for an "an 'original' price of $50 and a 'sale' price of $35."

An example in the suit against Sears claims a cross body bag had a "false reference price" of $25 and a $15 sale price.

Macy's told the LA Times it doesn't "comment on litigation matters." Similarly, J.C. Penney said it "doesn't comment on pending litigation."

A Kohl's spokeswoman told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel the store does not comment on pending litigation Sears declined to comment to the LA Times.

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