Canada To Probe U.S. Retail Pricing Gap
September 7, 2011 by UPI - United Press International, Inc.
OTTAWA, Sept. 7 (UPI) — A Canadian Senate committee will investigate the practice of U.S. retailers charging more in Canada for the same goods, the Toronto Star reported.
The newspaper saw a letter from Finance Minister Jim Flaherty in which he said he will ask the Senate Committee on National Finance to examine the pricing disparity, particularly because the Canadian dollar has been mostly worth more than the U.S. dollar for five years.
Canadian consumers began complaining about the difference in prices then and Flaherty responded by saying shoppers should look around for deals, thereby pressuring retailers to adjust prices in a market economy.
Since, retailers have claimed U.S. goods cost more in Canada because of import duties and also allege they have higher overhead expenses than retailers in the United States, such as rent, labor and utility costs.
Last month, two U.S. clothing retailers, J. Crew and Abercrombie & Fitch dropped the policy of showing both U.S. and Canadian prices on apparel in Canadian stores.
Consumer groups have pointed out online prices on their sites showed Canadians were paying as much as 40 percent more for the same items.
Flaherty’s letter ordering the probe suggested he was siding with consumers.
“Canadians are rightly irritated when they see large price discrepancies on the exact same products being sold on different sides of the border,” he wrote.