Actually, the way that JA's does the "bait and switch" is very blatant at the store close to me.
The 50% off coupons are printed and then mailed. They are clearly marked that they can not be used on SALE merchandise, which I for one, understand perfectly well. You then go to the store and choose a fabric with no sale signage clearly posted over it. It MUST have clearly posted signage to be considered "on sale" - that is the law. If the bolt is marked $12.99 and there is no sale signage - by law JA's MUST honor the 50% off coupon and sell you the fabric for $6.49. But JA's programs into their computers for almost all of the fabric in the store to come up at 25% off, they then fraudulently state that since the item is "on sale" for $9.75, you cannot use the coupon. I promise each and every one of you reading this, that this practice is BLATANT "bait and switch". Bait and switch is not limited to advertising an item and only having 1,2, or 3 of those items in stock. That is a minor portion of the law and by stating "limited quantities" even that nuisance may not be bait and switch.
If a store has an end cap (end of the shelving system) sign up that says 50% off and has items clearly stocked on that end cap that are not considered to be 50% off - by law they are to give you a 50% discount. I stopped shopping at Wallyworld for more than 3 years for pulling that one. They had very cheap candles marked 50% off, they then also stocked enormous quantities of extremely shopworn more expensive candles on the same shelving. By law - all of those candles were to be sold at 50% off, but they wouldn't honor the pricing on the shopworn candles. Bait and switch, plain and simple.
As for electronics stores and bait and switch: if you ask to see an advertised item and the employee leads you to that item and then says " but you really don't want this - its been giving lots of problems, this item for $45 more is much better, etc.". That would be bait and switch. If on the other hand, he takes you to the sale item and you ask"Why is this other item $45 more?" then he is free to "sell" you the more expensive item by describing its benefits. Its definitely a slippery slope in some instances.
At my JoAnn's, it is very definitely a blatant fraudulent business practice as far as how they refuse to apply the 50% off coupons. I've decided how I will deal with it should it happen again. Should be interesting.....
Think of it this way - the "bait" is that they give you a 50% off coupon for anything not on sale and not listed as an exclusion. The "switch" is that they don't tell you an item is "on sale" for 25% off until you get to the cutting counter or in my case - the cash register. They know that a certain amount of people will still buy the item because they have decided they want it.