Dollar-store fined over safety labelling
A low-price retailer has been fined $337,000 for selling toys with choking hazards for young children and pyjamas without fire danger warnings.
13 October 2017
A low-cost retailer found guilty of selling thousands of toys and pyjamas without appropriate safety labelling has been fined to the tune of $337,000.
The chain 123 Mart was found guilty at the Auckland District Court in July of 17 charges under the Fair Trading Act for not adhering to compulsory safety standards for children's toys and sleepwear.
The firm sold approximately 9000 units of seven different types of toys with small parts that presented choking hazards for young children, as well as thousands of units of clothing without adequate labelling.
Those items included children's sleeping tracksuits.
Handing down the $337,000 fine on Friday, Judge Rob Ronayne said 123 Mart had twice been warned by the commission to clean up its act.
But they had failed to do, and even covered up their continued offending.
"It's particularly important where babies and children are concerned the product safety standards are complied with," Judge Ronayne said.
"Choking hazards in this case exposed young children to the risk of injury or even death."
No children are thought to have been harmed by 123 Mart's products.
With around 60 retail stores throughout New Zealand, 123 Mart operate under the names The 123 Mart, Dollar Store 123, King Dollar Store and Max!Out.
The Commerce Commission said it investigated the retailer three times and laid charges after 123 Mart was warned in 2013.
The company went into liquidation in September, making the payment of their fine unlikely, but Judge Ronayne felt that was immaterial.
"It's appropriate to send the right message in this case," Judge Ronayne said.
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