A half dozen shops in Qatar have temporarily lost their discount licenses and face stiff fines for violating the nation’s sale promotion rules, the Ministry of Economy and Commerce has said.
Three other shops are being allowed to retain their licenses but must also pay QR5,000 each for noncompliance to Ministerial Decision No. 5 of 1984, with respect to selling through sales, promotions and discounts.
The nine stores were not named by the MEC, but the ministry said the violations were found during a recent inspection campaign in malls across the country.
For many shops, advertising promotions is a good way to entice customers into patronizing their outlets.
Summer is a popular time for such sales, and eight of Qatar’s malls have been offering special discounts and raffle draws during this month’s Summer Festival.
Shops in Qatar planning to hold sales are required to apply in advance to the MEC, which issues licenses for specific discount periods. The ministry also monitors sales to make sure the prices are actually reduced during this period.
This is the third time in a year that the ministry has penalized shops for running bogus sales. In January, 37 violations were issued to stores in 10 malls across the country for apparently running fake promotions.
And a month before that, 12 stores were booked for not maintaining the authorized sale prices during the duration of their promotions.
In a statement yesterday, the MEC urged consumers to compare the prices of items on sale with their original cost. The ministry added that shoppers have the right to receive a detailed invoice of both prices to confirm the promotion.