Bunnings in court over lowest price promise

They're known for their lowest 'price guarantee', but it's a claim that's led to Bunnings Warehouse being taken to court for misleading advertising.

The Commerce Commission has laid 45 charges against the Australian-owned company, saying their promise isn't true.

It points to advertising campaigns between July 2014 and February 2016 on television, radio, online, and in newspapers and catalogues, which it says gave an "overall impression that it offered the lowest prices for its products, when this was not true".

Bunnings says it's "disappointed" with the charges.

"We disagree with the Commerce Commission's view of our lowest prices policy and will defend our highly-competitive price guarantee," general manager Jacqui Coombes says.

"We would like to reassure customers that we will continue our lowest prices policy along with our comprehensive business processes and procedures operating behind the scenes to back this up."

On its website, Bunnings says it does a number of things to make sure they have the lowest prices, including "check[ing] competitor prices and, whenever we find a lower price, we drop our price so we stay lowest".

"We don't pretend to be the lowest at every instant on everything, which is why we offer every customer a Price Guarantee [sic]," the website says.

If a customer finds a product cheaper at a competitor's store, they'll cut their price by 15 percent - excluding trade quotes, stock liquidations and commercial quantities.

The company is set to appear in the district court on March 7.

"We remain absolutely committed to creating more value for New Zealand consumers and believe in the right of all businesses to compete on price," Ms Coombes says.

Bunnings, which has a head office in New Zealand, has 46 stores across the country, 3700 staff, and carries around 46,000 product lines.

Its parent company is Australian company Wesfarmers Limited, which also owns chains such as Coles, Target and K-Mart.