Bedlam breaks out after sale in 99p shop is cancelled


Bedlam at 99p store

Police had to be called in to calm down angry shoppers after a Wrexham bargain shop suddenly called off a sale.

The 99p Stores had cut the price of its wares to 50p as a closing-down sale, scheduled to last until January 28th, after it failed to renegotiate its lease. But when news came that talks with the landlord had been successful and the shop need not close after all, staff put the prices back up.

Customers were furious, with many already in the check-out queue, some laden with hundreds of pounds worth of goods.

"I was in there for nearly two hours queuing to get to the till. Then the manager took the posters down from the window," Sharon Roberts, from Rhosnesni in north Wales, told News North Wales.

"People were absolutely furious and that's why the police were called. Tempers were flaring and people were shouting."

Police sealed the shop off for two hours - until the store managers negotiated a compromise with the furious shoppers by offering a 'buy one, get one free' deal.

Tony Brown, chief operating officer for 99p Stores, apologised to customers for the sudden change in pricing.

"We genuinely regret the way this was handled. We should have closed the doors and let everybody get out with their items," he said. "But we are happy we have now arranged for the store to stay open and the jobs have been secured."

Riots are by no means unknown during sales - just ask Apple, which has on more than one occasion been forced to close its stores during product launches, particularly in the Far East. A little closer to home, Asda stores in Ireland saw scenes of chaos late last year when stores ran out of stock during a Black Friday promotion.

While most people would take the side of the aggrieved shoppers, surprisingly 99p Stores had no legal requirement to keep the sale going until January 28th as advertised. A price tag doesn't guarantee the cost of an item; instead, legally, it's an 'invitation to treat' and the vendor can change their mind at any time.

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