The operator of six Daiso franchise stores in Victoria has been penalised $ 355,000 after admitting that it sold or offered for sale items that did not meet the relevant safety or information standards under the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) and ACL (Vic).
We took action against Origo & Co Pty Ltd (ACN: 140 019 656) in the Federal Court of Australia, following an investigation that included in-store inspections between 2011 and 2017, and the identification of more than 15,000 non-compliant items.
The court heard that these items were unsafe and could have caused injuries, because consumers were not warned of the potential dangers through appropriate product safety and information standard labelling.
The items were:
- projectile toys, which could have caused serious facial and eye injuries, including blindness, and/or serious flesh wounds
- toys for children under three years of age, which had the potential to be choking hazards or to cause internal injuries if small parts were swallowed
- luggage straps, which could have cause serious eye, facial or chest injuries
- sunglasses that exposed eyes to very high levels of sunlight, with the potential to cause serious and sometimes irreversible damage, including inflammation, cataracts, or retina degeneration
- cosmetics without the appropriate labelling. These products exposed uninformed consumers to the risk of skin allergies or irritations.
Origo & Co also admitted it had engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct by selling sunblock that did not comply with labelling and advertising requirements.
As well as the financial penalty, Origo & Co must also:
- pay a contribution of $15,000 towards the Director of Consumer Affairs' costs
- issue public notices acknowledging the court’s orders, within its stores, on its websites and on its Instagram account.
The products in question were sold at the company’s Abbotsford store (which has since relocated to Richmond), Bourke Street (Midtown), Box Hill, Doncaster and Highpoint outlets.