Melbourne, Australia - July 23, 2011: Bunnings is Australia's most successful hardware chain. Here is the outside of a store in Epping, Melbourne. It includes customers walking to the entrance, and cars parked nearby.

By NZ Commission.

Bunnings is facing 45 charges of misleading customers by advertising low prices. The Commerce Commission filed the charges in Auckland District Court, NZ media reports say, alleging that its in-store advertising campaigns gave the impression it offered the lowest prices for its products when it did not.

The charges relate to advertising between June 1, 2014 and February 28, 2016 across print, radio, and television campaigns, as well as its website, in-store signs, and staff uniforms. The charges were laid in December, although the hardware chain made its first court appearance on Tuesday.

Slogans used in Bunnings’ ads that were found to be “false and misleading” during this time period, include:

  • “Lowest prices are just the beginning…”
  • “Bunnings has the lowest price on everything you need.”
  • “Everything is at the lowest price guaranteed.”
  • “We’ve got the widest range and the lowest prices”.

Each of the 45 offences has a maximum fine of $600,000, potentially totalling $27 million. The case will be heard in Auckland District Court on March 7.