Minimum Price Battle Hits Supreme Court
Suppose the ineffectual manufacturer’s suggested retail price were suddenly reinvented, with teeth, as a minimum set price? It could happen, and soon.
All retailers would do well to monitor decisions coming out of the U.S. Supreme Court through early summer. A ruling is expected in Leegin Creative Leather Products v. PSKS Inc. a case argued before the court in late March, which could profoundly reshape the retail landscape, or reaffirm the status quo.
Potentially at stake is a retail concept which anyone who has grown up in the last century takes for granted: manufacturers cannot set the minimum price at which their goods must be sold in stores. It’s a fixture in the consumer’s mindset, fundamental principle for today’s aggressive brand of deep discount, mass market anything-for-less retailing. Free to sell products at any price, some promote hot products as loss leaders to entice customers into stores with hope they will also buy something a little more profitable.