FIVE furniture and carpet retailers have changed their pricing practices after an investigation into the way discounts are advertised.

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) says it has closed its investigation after ScS, Carpetright, Dreams, Furniture Village and Homestyle's trading brands Harveys and Bensons for Beds confirmed their commitment to using genuine prices.

The inquiry looked into the reference prices used by retailers to advertise a bargain to shoppers, such as 'was £800, now half-price £400'.

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The OFT said the retailers confirmed their commitment to using genuine reference prices and, without any admission of liability, made changes to their reference pricing practices.

Gaucho Rasmussen, OFT director, said: “Retailers advertise bargains and discounts by referring to a previous or future higher price.

“It's a powerful marketing tool which, when used properly, provides a helpful and easy way to demonstrate to shoppers the value of discounts and savings.”