Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. is the defendant in a proposed class action filed by a Florida consumer who claims the retailer advertises discounts that are not actually provided to customers.
The lawsuit alleges Hobby Lobby misleads consumers about the prices of its merchandise through a “systemic scheme” of touting false discounts and “never-ending” sales in violation of the Florida Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Act. According to the suit, Hobby Lobby claims it takes coupon discounts off products’ “regular” prices, but instead applies said discounts off a price at which products are never sold in the first place.
“These prices are artificially inflated prices that are fictions created by Hobby Lobby,” the complaint charges. “Hobby Lobby offers percentage discount coupons and takes these percentage discount coupons from its artificially inflated rather than its everyday ‘Regular’ prices.”
The suit says the plaintiff made a purchase with a coupon with which he could get 40 percent off “one item at regular price only.” The case states the man purchased a small table marked as “Always 30% off” for $83.99. While the plaintiff believed he would pay a final price of $50.39 for the table, his 40 percent-off coupon was supposedly used against a price of $119.99. As the case alleges, Hobby Lobby’s pricing for certain items appears to be entirely fabricated:
“This other price was on the item. However, Hobby Lobby’s own information shows that this price is anything but ‘Regular.’ The ticket said ‘Furniture always 30% off.’ Simply put, the ‘Regular’ price is the price at which an item is ‘regularly’ sold. In this case, $83.99, not an artificial price that does not correspond to any sale of the item made by Hobby Lobby. The $119.99 is a price made up by Hobby Lobby, and only used to calculate 40% off discounts. No customer ever pays $119.99 for the piece of furniture [the plaintiff] purchased.”