Issued By
West Yorkshire Trading
Standards Service

Wakefield Swoop Closes New Store

A temporary store that recently appeared in Wakefield centre has been raided and subsequently closed down in a joint operation by officers from West Yorkshire Trading Standards Service and West Yorkshire Police.

The raid was organised in response to complaints received by Trading Standards about the sales techniques used and the shoddy goods being supplied from this particular store. Some counterfeit items on sale were seized by Trading Standards Officers.

Shoppers were being attracted by flyers advertising “Bankrupt Sales” and goods at exceptionally low prices. Goods on sale included Playstations, camcorders and other so called “bargain” electrical items.

Complaints received by Trading Standards suggested that shoppers were finding the goods they left with were often not what they had paid for. For example some had paid for a branded product but ended up with a cheaper version or in some cases something that bared no resemblance to what was advertised. Shoppers could have spent hundreds of pounds on something that, in reality, was only worth £20-£30.

Officers were particularly alarmed by reports that consumers who had complained were dealt with in an intimidating manner by staff.

West Yorkshire Trading Standards Service today warns all consumers about these types of “sales” that spring up in the run up to Christmas. The individuals organising these sales partly rely on the frenzied atmosphere that they generate, hoping consumers caught up in the excitement will be less likely to take in all aspects of their purchases.

Often when goods are sold they are handed over in sealed containers or bin liners and consumers are quickly encouraged to move out of the way of fellow spenders. This denies consumers an opportunity to inspect what they have bought until they have left the premises.

The advice from West Yorkshire Trading Standards Service is one of caution. Always take time to think about what you are buying – never be rushed into paying for something that you are not sure what you are getting. Remember, if it seems too good to be true, there’s a likelihood that it is!

Councillor Clarke, Chief Officer of West Yorkshire Joint Services said “With the holiday season upon us we are all on the hunt for those Christmas bargains but nobody likes being ripped off. Anybody with any information about sales such as these should contact the Consumer Helpline on 0113 3848 848.”

Martin Wood, Chief Officer of West Yorkshire Joint Services, said “There are many reputable traders operating in West Yorkshire. However, it is both consumers and honest traders who lose out through dishonest tactics such as those being used at this type of “sale”. I am therefore delighted at the result achieved in this joint operation with the Police”.

For further information contact:

Paul Smith, Principal Officer, 0113 289 8219
Carol Hallett, General Media Contact 0113 383 6407

Notes to editors:

1. 3 individuals were arrested as part of the joint operation and are currently being questioned by police.
2. Trading Standards are also carrying out further investigations.
3. Counterfeit items seized are available to photographs