To inspire retail-industry confidence in our Association, to help raise the standards of our industry in business relations, to encourage our membership in the pursuit of excellence, and generally to promote the Association’s reputation, the Association for Retail Environments does hereby adopt and proclaim its Code of Ethics. Adherence to this code is required of all A.R.E. members.
I. The Golden Rule shall be the general guideline of conduct in our business affairs. Honesty shall be adopted as the best policy serving our business interests.
II. A member of A.R.E. shall refrain from knowingly injuring or maligning the good name or business reputation of another member.
III. Members shall uphold and obey all local, state, and federal laws pertaining to business practice.
IV. Members shall refrain from falsely advertising or in any way misrepresenting their products to the public.
V. It shall be incumbent upon all members to adhere to specifications in the manufacture of their products and to avoid the substitution of inferior quality products.
VI. Members of A.R.E. shall refrain from inducing a breach of contract between a competitor and his customer by any false or deceptive means.
VII. No member shall hire an employee of another firm with the intent of: (1) inducing the employee to breach his or her contract with the former employer; (2) obtaining protected “confidential” business information regarding the former employer; or (3) illegally inducing the customers of the former employer to breach their contracts with said employer. Members shall not engage in commercial bribery, make payoffs, or engage in other illegal acts to obtain confidential business information, trade secrets, blueprints, or other nonpublic information from a competitor.
VIII. Members shall not copy the trademarks, names, slogans, trade secrets, blueprints, etc. of a competitor without their specific permission.
IX. Members shall not “buy jobs” or sell below cost with the intent to discriminate between competing buyers, injure competition, or engage in price predation in violation of federal or state antitrust or trade regulation laws. Members shall not bribe employees of customers or prospective customers, make undisclosed gifts, pay kickbacks, or provide undisclosed entertainment to employees of customers or prospective customers.
X. When acting as a prime contractor, members shall treat their subcontractors as they would expect to be treated by their customers, particularly in the matter of payments.
XI. Members shall endeavor to maintain good relations with their employees, applying the principles of good human relations in their daily work.
XII. Within the bounds permitted by law, members shall share with other members information of a nonconfidential nature that would tend to strengthen the industry and be in the interests of the Association for Retail Environments.