Close
 

Retailers must make sure their products are safe or face consequences

  • News
  • October 16, 2017
  • Sarah Dunn
Retailers must make sure their products are safe or face consequences

In the wake of a court case that saw dollar store retailer The 123 Mart fined $337,000, resulting ultimately in its liquidation, the Commerce Commission wants to remind retailers that they have a responsibility to make sure the products they sell comply with all relevant safety and consumer information standards.

The 123 Mart was prosecuted by the Commerce Commission for selling unsafe goods, and was convicted on Friday 13 October. The chain, which was founded in 1995, had a $337,000 fine imposed.

It sold approximately:

  • 9,000 units of seven types of toys that did not comply with the safety standard for children’s toys and were unsafe for children aged 36 months and under
  • 1,200 items of children’s sleeping pants, which did not have the required fire danger labels
  • 11,000 items of clothing, which failed to comply with consumer information labelling requirements for care, origin and content.

In sentencing at the Auckland District Court, judge Rob Ronayne noted that The 123 Mart was twice warned by the Commerce Commission, “and even after prosecution commenced it continued to offend and lied as a cover-up. Its behaviour had been cavalier and brazen.”

The company had been placed into liquidation on September 21. In response to this, judge Ronayne commented that he did not know if there will eventually be an ability to pay the fine imposed, “but it is appropriate to send the right message in this case.”

The liquidators appointed, Tony Maginness and Jared Booth of Staples Rodway, attributed the liquidation to the Commerce Commission’s prosecution, and an application by Inland Revenue to the High Court to have the company placed into liquidation owing nearly $840,000 in unpaid tax.

At the time of liquidation, the company operated 18 retail stores plus two warehouses, but originally around 60 retail stores had been operated by The 123 Mart under its own name, plus three additional brands: Dollar Store 123, King Dollar Store and Max!Out.

In Maginness and Booth’s first report, they estimate that The 123 Mart owed staff around $189,675 in unpaid wages and holiday pay, and Inland Revenue is owed approximately $839,011. A further $328,929 is owed to BNZ, and a number of security interests are held by suppliers.

Ritchie Hutton, the Commerce Commission’s Head of Investigations, says other retailers should keep an eye out for items which fail to comply with safety standards. Toys fail to comply with the standard and are unsafe if they have small parts that present choking hazards for young children, or parts which might break off during reasonably foreseeable handling and become a choking hazard.

 “With Christmas approaching, the Commission urges toy importers, distributors and retailers to ensure that the products they sell comply with all of the mandatory standards and most importantly, are safe for use by young children.”

The prosecution arose from the Commerce Commission’s programme of unannounced visits to retail stores. The 123 Mart won’t be the last retailer to be investigated or litigated against in this way, says Hutton.

“Product safety is an enduring priority for the Commission and our current investigations are likely to result in prosecutions,” Hutton says. “The aim of this work is awareness and deterrence. We want to make importers, distributors and retailers aware of the standards they must comply with, and aware of the consequences of not doing so.”

​ ​

This is a community discussion forum. Comment is free but please respect our rules:

  1. Don’t be abusive or use sweary type words
  2. Don’t break the law: libel, slander and defamatory comments are forbidden
  3. Don’t resort to name-calling, mean-spiritedness, or slagging off
  4. Don’t pretend to be someone else.

If we find you doing these things, your comments will be edited without recourse and you may be asked to go away and reconsider your actions.
We respect the right to free speech and anonymous comments. Don’t abuse the privilege.

 
Sponsored content

eStar’s Top Tips when choosing your new ecommerce solution

Retailers are increasingly aware of the growing proportion of revenue contributed by their digital store. However, many often miss the influence the digital store has ...

 
 

It's coming home: I Love Ugly Fifa Football Cup inspired collection

  • Design
  • July 13, 2018
  • Elly Strang
It's coming home: I Love Ugly Fifa Football Cup inspired collection

New Zealand streetwear brand I Love Ugly has waded into the football fever engulfing the world at the moment and launched a limited edition FIFA inspired collection of clothes called the 'Legends' collection.

Read more
 
 

NZ businesses take up the Climate Change Challenge Statement

  • News
  • July 12, 2018
NZ businesses take up the Climate Change Challenge Statement

The business community has been taking progressive steps to limit environmental impact. Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment (PCE) has released a report which shows growing support for conscious decisions around plastics, as 60 New Zealand businesses take up the Climate Change Statement.

Read more
 
topics
Town centres
A positive retail environment over the past 12 ...
Amazon Arrival
Keeping up with all things Amazon as it ...
The Retail Yearbook 2017
As we battle our way through the busiest ...
Hospitality enhancing retail
Some think food and integrated hospitality offerings will ...
The future is bright
We spoke with four retailers in their twenties ...
Spotlight on signage
At first glance, the humble in-store sign might ...
How to open a store
Sarah Dunn considers what it would take to ...
Red Awards 2016
The Red Awards for retail interior design celebrate ...
Auckland Unitary Plan
Auckland is changing. The Unitary Plan will decide ...
Retail in heartland New Zealand
Retailers keep the regions pumping, but how strong ...
All things to all people
Kiwi retailers share their omnichannel strategies.
Rising stars
Retail's top young achievers.
Delivering on your promises
The sale isn't over until your item is ...
Sisterhood
Women in retail help one another. We spoke ...
The changing face of retail
Shifting demographics are creating big changes in New ...
The retail yearbook
With the help of experts in the retail ...
Retail rogues
We put the spotlight on staff training. Jai ...
Here come the giants
Topshop has arrived in Auckland’s CBD, David Jones ...
Loyalty in the digital age
How are retailers maintaining loyalty? Sarah Dunn, Elly ...
Window shopping: A spotlight on social media
Sarah Dunn and Elly Strang look at how ...
From retail to e-tail
Ecommerce has become part of the way mainstream ...
The Innovators | In partnership with Spark Business
Technology is rapidly changing the retail industry as ...
 

Opening designer announced for New Zealand Fashion Week

  • Design
  • July 12, 2018
Opening designer announced for New Zealand Fashion Week

Mercedes-Benz has announced its featured designer for the opening of New Zealand Fashion Week. Turet Knuefermann has been chosen as a designer who reflects Mercedes-Benz’ dedication to high quality craftmanship.

Read more
 
 

Proposed Ingenico acquisition of Paymark hits a snag

  • News
  • July 12, 2018
  • The Register team
Proposed Ingenico acquisition of Paymark hits a snag

The Commerce Commission has concerns about potential competition issues that may arise from the proposed merger between Paymark and French payments group Ingenico. The deal was proposed in January this year and has been working its way through regulatory consents.

Read more
 
Technology

Inside Cue’s frictionless retail ecosystem

Australian heritage apparel retailer Cue has come a long way since 1968. As it celebrates its 50th year of operation, Cue’s chief information officer Shane ...

 
Next page
Results for
Topics
Jobs
About us.

The Register provides essential industry news and intelligence, updated daily. And the digital newsletter delivers the latest news to your inbox twice a week — for free!

©2009–2015 Tangible Media. All rights reserved.
Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Privacy policy.

Advertise
The Register

editor@theregister.co.nz

Content marketing/advertising? Email anita@tangiblemedia.co.nz or call 022 639 3004

View Media Kit

}