While Black Friday shoppers in other states are stampeding through stores in search of the deepest discounts, those in Wisconsin will be listening to store managers explain it’s illegal to discount prices too deeply.
A Depression-era law forbids the state’s retailers from selling goods below cost.
“People can’t believe that law is still on the books,” State Sen. Leah Vukmir, R-Wauwatosa, told Wisconsin Watchdog.
The Unfair Sales Act was meant to protect the state’s small businesses and farmers from national conglomerates when it was passed in 1939.
“It’s a law that’s outlived whatever justification it had at first,” said Vukmir, who introduced a bill to repeal the law in the most recent legislative session.
“People who live near the border with Minnesota or Illinois can drive across and buy items at lower prices. And everybody can get bigger discounts by buying things online.”
Vukmir’s repeal bill was referred to the Committee on Economic Development and Commerce yet never scheduled for a hearing.
That’s a typical fate for repeal efforts.