Thousands of people in the Tri-Cities shopped at Value Village on Columbia Center Boulevard before the store closed in 2017. Soon, the State Supreme Court will rule on a five-year-old lawsuit against the thrift giant. (this image is from Google street view 2015 Kennewick)
Court will decide of Value Village misrepresents its charitable donations
According to updated information from Crosscut (a western WA-based news outlet), the court is expected to render a ruling very soon.
In 2017, AG Bob Ferguson sued the parent company of Value Village (VV), TVI Inc., claiming they are misleading the public with the perception that significant amounts of their profits go to charities.
Ferguson’s suit stated the public perception is when people buy at VV a portion of ‘every’ purchase ends up in the hands of a charity. But, he says, that is not necessarily true.
Crosscut reports that in 2015 a group called InvestigateWest dug up information claiming that while TVI-VV does have many charity partners who benefit from their 300 stores, the actual amounts they donate is only pennies on the pound for massive clothing and other donations.
These charities gather and donate tons of clothing, shoes, furniture, and other items to VV, who then markets and sells them in their stores while returning donations back to the charities.
But AG Ferguson and reports claim the donations are far smaller than what most consumers believe is being given.
ARC of WA says Value Village terminated their contract
Crosscut reports that just prior to COVID, in April 2020, Value Village dropped the ARC of WA state as a partner. The ARC, just like the ARC of the Tri-Cities, provides non-profit advocacy for people with developmental and intellectual challenges. According to ARC WA officials, the move cost their organization about $150K and they had to lay off manyof their workers.
Value Village operated a store in Kennewick until 2017, then their lease was not renewed. The retail spot they occupied on Columbia Center Boulevard was then remodeled and occupied by Planet Fitness.
The King County Superior Court ruled against TVI-Value Village in 2019, but an appeals court overturned that ruling in 2021. Then the State Supreme Court agreed to hear the case, and a ruling is expected soon.
50 Famous Brands That No Longer Exist