A King County Superior Court judge has ruled that Value Village used deceptive advertising, leading customers to believe the company was a charity or a nonprofit.
Value Village is a for-profit business with an annual revenue of $1 billion. The second-hand chain was served with a consumer protection lawsuit by Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson. Judge Roger Rogoff ruled that from 2009 to today, Value Village deceived customers.
The judge found that the company knew its advertising could deceive consumers based on marketing studies that it commissioned into thinking it benefited charities. No portion of any purchases owned by Value Village’s parent company, TVI Inc., has ever benefited charities, a press release from the Attorney General office stated.
“My office received numerous complaints from consumers who feel deceived by Value Village’s advertising,” Ferguson said in a press release.
A written order is expected next week for the lawsuit which was filed in December 2017. Damages and penalties will be assessed next spring.
Value Village runs 330 stores worldwide, and 20 in Washington state, including multiple locations on the Eastside.