A number of upstate New York schools are poised to benefit from a settlement with the arts and crafts mega chain, Hobby Lobby, reports the Buffalo News, including 177 Erie County schools. The regional schools were misled about discounts, and when the truth came forward, filed charges against the store. In the settlement, Hobby Lobby agreed to change its advertising practices in 60 days and pay out $138,600 in supplies to 689 public schools.
According to Buffalo News, State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced Wednesday that HL had entered into a settlement with his office after an investigation into “alleged deceptive advertising practices by the national retail chain. Schneiderman’s office said Hobby Lobby, through its deceptive advertising, misled customers into thinking they were receiving steep discounts over a two-year period.”
The Attorney General’s office said that a number of items marketed by the chain as on sale were being advertised for 52 consecutive weeks. The Attorney General’s office said that this was a violation of the state’s General Business Law prohibiting false advertising.
Spokeswoman for the Attorney General, Casey Aguglia, explained that 177 schools in Erie County and 26 in Niagara County are eligible for gift cards worth a total of $138,600 in supplies.
“Because Hobby Lobby sells schools supplies, that’s why they chose to go the route that they did with regard to the gift cards for local schools to purchase school supplies,” she added. The schools will be notified once they are eligible to receive the gift cards.
Hobby Lobby is currently involved in a lawsuit with the United States Government, Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby, the ruling of which according to SCOTUSBlog, is TBD.