Carolina Furniture used deceptive advertising practices during a recent going-out-of-business sale, according to the state attorney general’s office.
The state’s investigation involved Carolina’s “store closing sale” which took place after Whole Foods bought out its lease and the company was forced to close its location on Sheridan Drive in Amherst. The sale took place at all four of the company’s locations from August through Black Friday.
The investigation showed the company’s claims that it was liquidating $3 million of furniture and that “everything must go” were not true because it did not have to liquidate its merchandise and never intended to. The company also mailed invitations to 40,000 consumers for what it called a private, four-day sale; but that sale was open to the public. The company advertised merchandise was being sold at its lowest prices ever, but the price structure was no different from how prices had been calculated at the company since 1995. In addition, the company sent out coupons it said were only available to preferred customers, but were in fact widely circulated.
The store also failed to obtain the necessary licensing for the sale. The company and the attorney general’s office reached an agreement in which Carolina Furniture will pay a $30,000 penalty and agrees to comply with all laws regarding such sales in the future.
Carolina Furniture has remaining locations in West Seneca, Williamsville and Bradford, Pennsylvania.