Jeweller's Tricks Exposed- The Sun on Sunday- Exclusive News Story- ***March 2014***

A whistleblower contacted us to expose how high street jeweller H Samuel was hiking some of its prices so it could then pretend it had reduced them in a 'sale'.

We had the story placed in The Sun on Sunday newspaper who also ran an editorial deploring the practice.

Although H Samuel had done nothing illegal the whistleblower felt that the stores were misleading the public.

We protected the identity of the whistleblower who was delighted with the exposure the story received.

Scroll down to read the story.

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H. Samuel accused of conning Britons with fake jewellery discounts after memo emerges instructing staff to raise prices for just four weeks

  • The jewellery store has been raising prices, then slashing them weeks later
  • A memo to staff reveals the firm's plan to claim the items are discounted
  • One locket sold for £54.99 was bumped up to £99.99 the next day


High street chain H Samuel has ordered its staff to bump up the price of gold jewellery for one month to make future sale cuts look more dramatic, a leaked memo has revealed.

Prices are being increased and will stay high until a planned ‘Gold Price Crash’ sale that will start in time for Mother’s Day at the end of March.

Products that have gone up in price include a gold St Christopher’s pendant, which has risen from £95.99 to £129, and a gold cubic zirconia entwined heart pendant – up from £71.99 to £129.


Other items include a heart-shaped locket that was just £54.99 on February 16, jumping to £99.99 the next day. A pair of gold stud earrings that once cost £32.99 now sells for £44.99.


The email, dated February 17 and sent by Victoria Salisbury-Scott, store  operations co-ordinator of H Samuel’s parent firm Signet, read: ‘Due to the success and significant lift in sales that you saw last year from the Gold Price Crash activity we would like to repeat this during spring/summer 2014.


‘In order to do this we have to offer our products at a higher gold price for four weeks in accordance with trading standards regulations.’



The tactic is not illegal and is repeated by retailers across the high street. However, this is the first time the details have been explicitly revealed.

Trading rules mean that a product must be advertised at a higher  ‘original’ price for at least 28 days before this can be used as a reference figure for subsequent cuts.

H Samuel is the UK’s largest jewellers, with 318 stores and sales of £243million a year.

Martin Lewis, of consumer action site, said: 'Retailers should be forced to display the price range they've sold the product at for the last year to give a true benchmark.'

A spokesman for Signet, H. Samuel's parent company, said: 'Signet has policies and procedures to ensure its pricing practices meet government standards in all respects.

'Any company's pricing strategy is competitively sensitive. As such, we are not at liberty to discuss these policies in any detail.'

Pricing practices guidance from the Department of Business, Innovations and Skills states: 'A price used as a basis for comparison should have been your most recent price available for 28 consecutive days or more.'

Signet’s UK division operates approximately 500 stores primarily under the name brands of H.Samuel and Ernest Jones. The company has annual sales of approximately £2.4billion.



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