Blumenthal warning shoppers about outlet stores - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Blumenthal warning shoppers about outlet stores

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HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -

Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal is warning consumers about unfair and deceptive marketing practices allegedly used by some outlet stores.

He says "arbitrary and intentionally misleading reference prices at outlet stores" cause Black Friday shoppers to believe they're getting a better deal than they may actually be.

The Democrat plans to visit the Clinton Crossing Premium Outlets on Friday, one of the busiest shopping days of the year, following a news conference at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford.

"85 percent of merchandise sold at outlet stores these days is made solely or exclusively for those stores. It may have stitching of plastic rather than leather, lighter weight fabrics, cheaper materials, different quality, deceptively advertised," Blumethal said.

The news conference comes almost a year after he wrote to the Federal Trade Commission seeking an investigation into deceptive pricing at outlet stores. The commission declined to investigate.

With 11 class-action lawsuits filed against seven retailers, Blumenthal says he is again calling for the FTC to investigate the practices.

Simon, a global leader in retail real estate and owner and manager of Connecticut's Clinton Crossing Premium Outlets in Clinton, released the following statement in response to Blumenthal's comments. 

"We have the utmost respect for Senator Blumenthal but his claims on this matter are inaccurate and disappointing. Our leases require discounting from retailers at our shopping centers. The Senator has never spoken with us before today and as big contributors to the tax rolls and a major source of employment, we are dismayed by this approach. "

Copyright 2014 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved.