Intro: The essay/problem involves the Law of Contract. When forming a contract, 4 essential elements are needed. They are: Offer, Acceptance, Consideration and Legal Intention. It's necessary to draw a distinction between an offer, which is a definite promise to be legally bound - and an Invitation to Treat (ITT), which is merely an opening of negotiations - not capable of being accepted.
1. Goods in Shops/Shelves:
The concept of ITT's have been recognised by the judges in a variety of situations. One of the ways an ITT has been recognised is through goods on shelves/shops. In this particular area the "Shopping Principles" apply. These are, display of goods in shops are ITT's. The offer is made when the customer picks the item is scanned by the cashier. A case to illustrate this is the "Pharmaceutical Society of GB v Boots", here Boots introduced a self-service store which allowed people to purchase drugs without a pharmacist present. This was an ITT, therefore, Boots were found not guilty. A further case to illustrate this is "Fisher v Bell", here the "offer" was to sell flick knives displayed in a shop window, however, it was concluded that a flick knife amounted to an ITT and not an offer, and the defendant was found NOT Guilty.
AO2: This shows that the concept of ITT is as important as ever giving essential protection to those who sell goods. This is because it prevents the seller from entering into contracts which are deemed unlawful such as Alcohol and Solvents. Shops need to be able to display their items without threat of being prosecuted.