The craft chain Hobby Lobby has found itself in the headlines once again for all the wrong reasons. This time its because the big box store is facing class action lawsuits over their allegedly deceptive marketing practices to lure in consumers. Shoppers deserve to know the truth, and if brands like Hobby Lobby can’t attract shoppers on their own merits then they deserve to fail. Ring of Fire’s Farron Cousins discusses the lawsuits with Scott Hardy from Top Class Actions.
For more information on the Hobby Lobby case, visit topclassactions.com
Farron Cousins: Over the last few years, Hobby Lobby has found itself in the headlines and pretty much every time it’s been in the news, it’s been for not a very good reason. Well, this latest Hobby Lobby story is no exception. It turns out the big box arts and craft chain store might be falsely advertising their prices to consumers to dupe them into coming into their stores. For me on this story, I’m joined by Scott Hardy from Top Class Actions. Scott, look, Hobby Lobby has obviously got a lot of problems, but this one actually avoids all the politics and everything that they’ve gotten zinged for in the past. This is strictly by the book. It seems to be false advertising in the case of Hobby Lobby.
Tell us what’s happening with this particular class action.
Scott Hardy: Sure. The Hobby Lobby class action is one that we’re seeing filed against a lot of these retailers who are constantly running sales. Hobby Lobby is saying here’s the sale price. This product is always 40% off. This is product is always 35% off. They’re advertising different sale prices within their circulars that they’re advertising, within the different print advertising and online. It turns out that the sale prices are essentially the regular prices. You can’t go ahead and tell somebody that a product is on sale for 40% off when that’s the price it is all the time. There is no sale. That’s normal price and a lot of big retailers have recently been dinged by these kind of false advertising class actions.
Farron Cousins: Well, and state laws across the country are pretty clear about this kind of thing. If you say that here’s the price and you get 40% off, you have to give them 40% off that price. That’s state law in terms of false advertising. Hobby Lobby is not doing that. They send you their weekly circular. They say here’s a chest of draws. It’s this much, but it’s always 40% off. Any reasonable person and that’s part of the language here is what a reasonable person would conclude. You would assume that if that’s the price and they’re saying I get 40% off, I take 40% off that and that’s what I walk out the door with. But, that’s not what Hobby Lobby is doing. Hobby Lobby is saying no, that 40% off, that actually means that that was the price, but it’s actually still not even 40% off anything because that’s just the actual price of the item.
They’re scamming it on just so many different levels here.
Scott Hardy: Exactly. They’re just trying to put it to the consumer, make you think you’re getting a deal when in actuality, you’re not. You’re paying full retail price. That’s the way it is. These retailers can make up whatever retail price they want. They might say no, the retail price on this product is $50. We’re going to go ahead and sell it to you for $20. You’re welcome. If I’m making up the retail price and my sale price is the regular price, I’m not getting a deal at all. It’s just trying to latch on to consumers, the back brain of that consumer to say I got to go in there and buy it now because otherwise I’m going to lose out.
Farron Cousins: Right.
Scott Hardy: That’s simply not the case. It’s just false advertising.
Farron Cousins: Absolutely, and it’s whatever they can do to get people to come into the store. Because once you’ve got them in there, you’ve almost got this captive audience. Again, this particular class action happens to be against Hobby Lobby. They’re not the only ones who’ve done this. I’m sure everybody knows of probably a mattress store within five miles of their home that’s been going out of business for the last 10 years and yet still there, but it’s always going out of business sale. Going out of business sale. We have one, it was there when I was in college, it’s still there today, that’s been out of business for almost 20 years now. But, that’s a big scam with mattress stores.
They do that a lot. Furniture stores are the same way. It’s good to see these companies kind of getting popped for this because they’re not giving you any special discounts. They’re not giving you sale items. It’s just whatever they can do to get you in the door and then charge you what they would regularly charge you. You’re not getting a discount whatsoever.
Scott Hardy: Right. Exactly. You’re getting popped for that full price. We’ve seen it from everywhere from clothing stores to suit stores. Everyone saying you buy two, you get one free. That sale only lasts through the end of the month, but then magically just like the furniture and the mattress stores, that sale is back on next month. That’s amazing. No deal at all.
Farron Cousins: It is absolutely. Listen, if anybody wants any more information on this Hobby Lobby story, you can go to topclassactions.com. There is a link to this particular story in the description of this video. Scott Hardy, thank you for joining us. Thank you for telling us this important story and thank you for being out there to help protect consumers.
Scott Hardy: Thank you. I appreciate your time, Farron. Let’s go ahead and keep on fighting.