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By Susan Larson.

Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring reached a settlement with arts and crafts store Hobby Lobby, concerning its advertising practices and alleged violations of the Comparison Price Advertising Act and the Virginia Consumer Protection Act.

In a complaint filed simultaneously with the settlement, Attorney General Herring alleged that Hobby Lobby routinely advertised discounts compared to “other sellers,” but failed to disclose what its prices were actually being compared to as required by law, making it more difficult for customers to figure out if they were actually getting a good price.

“Comparison shopping can be a useful tool for finding good deals, but comparison price advertising only works if businesses are clear about their prices and how they compare to competitors,” Herring said. “This settlement is going to give Virginia customers clearer, more accurate information that can help them find the items they want at the best price.”

As part of the settlement, Hobby Lobby agreed to pay $8,000 as a civil penalty for the alleged violations, and as reimbursement of the Commonwealth’s reasonable expenses, costs, and attorney’s fees in investigating the matter.

Hobby Lobby, a nationwide retailer with more than 500 stores, has nine Virginia locations, including the Fredericksburg store in Central Park at 1360 Carl D. Silver Pkwy.
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