Retailing Briefs

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hhgregg Forced To Modify Practices

Atlanta — hhgregg has entered into a settlement with the Georgia Governor's Office of Consumer Affairs (OCA) after the organization accused the retailer of being in violation of the Georgia Fair Business Practices Act. The charges were made after OCA's undercover investigators visited the retailer's 11 Georgia locations and determined the company was misrepresenting the availability of products in its newspaper advertisements in order to up-sell customers with higher-priced items. The settlement calls for hhgregg to pay the state of Georgia $55,000 and to modify its written sales and marketing practices, ensure that advertised goods are available to meet reasonable demands, and train all sales and marketing employees on the new policies.

Costco To Test Concierge Service

Chicago— According to published reports, Costco is planning to test a new in-home installation service for electronics at a selection of its Southern California stores. The trial is an attempt to cut down on heavy returns of complicated electronics which the company attributes to customers' installation difficulties. The high rate of return, made easier by the company's lack of “restocking fees” common to many of its competitors, is partly responsible for the lower-than-expected margins the company is facing this quarter. Launches Mac-related Site

Irvine, Calif.—, a consumer price comparison search site, has launched a specialized Web site that focuses on providing users of Apple products like Mac computers and iPods with the best available prices on related products and services. The site, called, also features a news feed with Apple-related industry news and an interactive forum where users can communicate with one another.

RILA Supports Port Amendment

Arlington, Va. — The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) expressed publicly its support of the Senate's newly passed amendment which defeated an opposing bill that promoted 100 percent scanning of containers that enter U.S. ports. RILA's Paul Kelly said in the time leading up to the decision that the defeated amendment would have resulted in “unnecessary delays that would damage the economy without improving security.” In the wake of the vote, Kelly said “regulations and public-private partnerships can achieve the dual objectives of enhancing security while continuing to facilitate legitimate global commerce.”


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