Judge Rules Value Village Misled Customers About Charity Role
According to information from the Washington State Attorney General's office, Value Village has been found by a King County Judge to have engaged in misleading practices concerning consumers believing they were linked to charity.
According to the AG's office: (from Friday 11-8)
"...a King County Superior Court judge today ruled that from 2009 to today, for-profit Value Village deceived consumers into believing the company is a nonprofit or a charity and that purchases benefited charities, when they do not. The judge ruled that Value Village knew or should have known its advertising was deceptive."
The release went on to state:
"King County Superior Court Judge Roger Rogoff ruled that Value Village’s advertising misled consumers into thinking that it was a charity or nonprofit. In reality, Value Village is a for-profit business that brings in $1 billion in revenue annually. Importantly, Value Village knew that its advertising had the capacity to deceive consumers based on marketing studies that it commissioned and testimony from its former chief executive officer.
Judge Rogoff also found that Value Village misled Washingtonians that their purchases benefit charities. In fact, no portion of any purchases in any store owned by Value Village’s parent company, TVI Inc., has ever benefitted charities.
Today’s ruling only addresses whether Value Village broke the law. Judge Rogoff will determine the amount of penalties Value Village will face for doing so at a separate hearing, expected sometime next spring."
Of the some 330 Value Village stores worldwide, 20 are in Washington state. The Tri-Cities location went away a couple of years ago when the store lost it's lease to make way for the Kennewick location of Planet Fitness.
This image is a Google Street View from 2015. The only remaining store in Eastern Washington is in Spokane.