BBB Questions "Store Closing" Ads by Baker's Furniture

  
     
October 08, 2008

“After 85 Years, Store Closing! All Inventory Must Be Liquidated!”

For months, large banners in the front windows of Baker’s Furniture, 524 Main St., Garland, have been making those claims.

But Baker’s Furniture has failed to substantiate those claims to the Better Business Bureau serving Dallas and Northeast Texas. In addition, according to a customer complaint, the store was still taking orders recently for new merchandise.

In July, 2008, the window banners were brought to the BBB’s attention by an area business. The BBB’s local Advertising Review department reviews ads for compliance with the BBB Code of Advertising, and seeks cooperation from advertisers to substantiate, modify, or discontinue any claims that are questioned.

The BBB Code of Advertising states that a going-out-of-business sale should not be advertised unless the stated or implied reason is a fact; should be limited to a stated period of time; and should offer only the merchandise that is affected by the emergency.

On August 4, 2008, the BBB asked Baker’s Furniture to substantiate the “Store Closing” claims on the banners.

The BBB received a phone call from a Baker’s Furniture representative, stating that the company was, indeed, going out of business.  The BBB subsequently asked for verification; however, the representative admitted that the company did not have a going out of business permit from Dallas County.  The representative told the BBB that he would obtain the proper permits and provide copies to the BBB within the week.

According to Texas Business and Commerce Code:

     §17.83: To conduct a going out of business sale, a person must file an original inventory with the chief appraiser of the appraisal district in which the person’s principal place of business within the state is located.  The original inventory must be accompanied by a filing fee of $20.

The company failed to contact the BBB within the stated timeframe, and on August 18, 2008, the BBB sent a second request for substantiation. Bakers Furniture has not contacted the BBB since the phone conversation.

In addition, a customer complaint indicates that at the same time Baker’s Furniture was advertising “All Inventory Must Be Liquidated!” the store was taking orders for new merchandise. A Mesquite man complained: “On June 24, 2008, I ordered a coffee table that was to be delivered on August 9, 2008. The table has not been delivered. I haven’t been able to find out when or if it will even be delivered.” This complaint is unanswered by the business.

As of October 5, 2008, Baker’s Furniture was still advertising “Store Closing”, including a newspaper advertisement. “Everything Must Go … This Is Not a Gimmick, Huge Final Liquidation,” the ad says.

The BBB Reliability Report on Baker’s Furniture states that the company has not substantiated the “Store Closing” claims. The BBB is referring information about the advertising challenge to the Texas Attorney General's office.

For more information on the BBB’s local Advertising Review program, or to submit an ad for review, see www.dallas.bbb.org/dallasadreview.