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Only on Coupons in the News:

Don’t get your hopes up just yet. But weeks after unceremoniously killing off its popular 40% off coupons, Hobby Lobby may already be preparing to bring them back.

The craft store chain made headlines late last month when it announced it would be discontinuing its weekly “40% off one item at regular price” coupons at the end of February. While the story was widely reported, Coupons in the News was the only publication to draw a potential connection between that move, and a long-running legal challenge to the way Hobby Lobby accepts and applies those coupons.

Now, a proposed settlement agreement filed with the court confirms the legal challenge is indeed what led Hobby Lobby to discontinue the coupons – and what may eventually lead the retailer to bring them back.

Two shoppers, one in Alabama and one in Florida, filed separate lawsuits against Hobby Lobby that were later combined into a single class-action case. They argued that Hobby Lobby’s couponing and pricing policies were misleading and deceptive, and deprived them of the full discount they expected.

The retailer’s 40% coupon offers a discount on a “regular-priced” item, which means you can’t use it on an item that’s on sale. But the plaintiffs discovered that there’s a murky middle ground. Many of Hobby Lobby’s items are marked as being “always 30% off” list price. Hobby Lobby argued that was a sale price, so the 40% coupon only applied to the item’s list price. The plaintiffs argued that “always” selling a product for 30% off made that the de facto regular price, to which the 40% off coupon should have been applied.

Hobby Lobby “vigorously denies that it engaged in any misrepresentations or wrongful conduct in its 40% off coupon program,” the retailer said in a court filing, but it agreed to settle the case to avoid the time and expense of further litigation. According to the terms of the proposed settlement filed with the court on Friday, eligible class members in Alabama and Florida who purchased certain items with a coupon will be notified about how to claim a one-time $14 payment once the settlement is approved.

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But there’s another stipulation in the proposed settlement that affects all Hobby Lobby shoppers, no matter what state you’re in.

“Hobby Lobby will discontinue use of its current coupon within 45 days following the court’s approval of this agreement,” the proposed settlement reads. So while Hobby Lobby’s public explanation was that it was discontinuing the coupon in order to “intensify our efforts to discount thousands of items every day” – the truth is that the discontinuation of the coupon was required under the terms of the settlement to which it had agreed.

And there’s a twist. “Hobby Lobby has agreed to revise the terms of its 40% discount coupon… the language of which should remedy the deficiencies alleged in the complaints,” the agreement reads.

The proposed settlement contains agreed-upon coupon language for future Hobby Lobby coupons. While the old coupons state that they are “good for one item at regular price only” and are “not valid with any other discount,” the new coupon language is more explicit, with a longer list of exclusions, including any “discounted price, clearance price, reduced price, (or) items marked with a yellow ‘Your Price’ sticker.”

Hobby Lobby did not respond to a request for comment about whether the elimination of its existing coupons was just an interim step, and whether and when coupons with the agreed-upon new wording might appear. It could take many months, and possibly even years, for the proposed settlement to be given final approval. So while Hobby Lobby was obligated to retire its old coupons right away, its new coupon language may not be approved for some time, which puts us in coupon limbo for a while.

Hobby Lobby is not actually obligated to resume offering coupons. But the fact that it worked out specific new wording and submitted it for the court’s approval, suggests that it’s certainly keeping that option open. And what better publicity could Hobby Lobby get, than to retire coupons for a while, see how customers react, and then tell shoppers that “we heard you” and “we’re bringing back our 40% coupon” once the settlement agreement is finalized? That could make Hobby Lobby look like the hero – and not like the chastened defendant forced to withdraw its coupons and shell out millions of dollars to customers who claim the retailer cheated them.

So, for now, you have less than two weeks to use one of Hobby Lobby’s 40% off coupons. After that, the coupons will be gone. But, depending on what happens once this legal dispute is officially settled – potentially not for long.

Image source: Hobby Lobby

61 Comments

  1. What was most irritating was that the Hobby Lobby app still showed a coupon good for the current date. They forgot to remove the coupon option from their site and it kept popping up. No one at the store ever offered an explanation, just that it was not good because it did not have a bar code they could scan. They should have put a notice up both online and at the stores that they are no longer accepting coupons. It causes bad public relations with unsuspecting customers that get caught.

    • I was not happy when I went to pay for my things and they told me the same thing that I was not able to use the coupon and then I was upset because they had some items that said 50% off they told me ” oh that’s only for some things ” I then asked why would you put it with the stuff that says 50% off if it’s not then again gave me some story saying that I need to read what it says and they didn’t have to move anything I was so mad that my man told me be nice and we left I should have called corporate that day have not been back sad because that was one of my favorite stores to go to not anymore

    • Theresa Waltrip says:

      When I used the 40 off coup, I bought things that never go on sale. Like Command Strips
      And packaging envelopes.

      I feel certain that if coupons return, they will EXCLUDE those items.

  2. Wanda Hall says:

    I wrote corporate about not being able to use the coupon on material because it was 30% off all the time. The response I received was you can use it but it is applied to the normal price. I carry that response with me so I can show it to them if there’s a question about it. Never had a problem.

  3. Coupon or not, pretty much everything at Hobby Lobby will be on a great sale within a 4 to 6 week period. If you do not like a store policy then shop elsewhere. Suing the company was ridiculous-people wanting something for nothing and in the process ruining it for the customers that use the coupon appropriately. The store still has to make money or it will no longer be there for our convenience so stop trying to nickle and dime them because you are too cheap to pay a fair price. Use your common sense vs. suing!

  4. Good lord comprehension has went out the window right alongside common sense..how do you know it was just a one time thing for these people? How many times have you been overcharged on a purchase? You don’t know how many times they may have been overcharged on something before they realized they were being ripped off?! Instead of blaming these 2 for you loosing out, maybe you should be grateful that bc of them, you’re not being overcharged & ripped off?! Take this for an example..Their ad clearly states 40% off ALL PENS & MARKER SETS $9.99 & UP…now, going thru to make an online purchase, I noticed 3 of the sets were accurately priced the 40% off but the other 2 in my cart aren’t..why is that? They’re both over $9.99 & they are the same exact brand as the 3 correctly priced..now had i not caught that, I would have been charged more..& if the lot of you haven’t grasped it yet, money adds up! What if those supplies were something needed on a monthly basis? At the end of the year, how much would they have gotten outta you every month??! It.adds up! Seems the only greedy ones is Corporations & the ones bitchin about 2 people who were just a tad bit smarter in the end for catching & calling out big Corporations for being deceptive in their practices. I’m glad the lot of you have money to piss away without a care but if i figured out my monthly supplies had been being overcharged, yeah damn right id probably sue too..some of yall don’t realize that court is sometimes the only way to go to get big companies to reimburse your money back! If they weren’t in the wrong they wouldn’t have ceased their coupons nor have a plan in place with more descriptive wording for approval..some of yall are ridiculous, oh no big hoblob isn’t the devil its those 2 greedy ass people..reading some of these comments made me roll my eyes so hard i literally saw my brain..& good god does it hurt for some of yall smh their coupon wording was deceptive, plain & simple..some yall would really be surprised what a lot of big Corporations do or get by with..all they gotta do is make the lot of you think their such morally high Christians & boom..they can do no wrong haha maybe try exercising your brains, quit thinking you’re always right bc hate to break it to ya, you’re really looking like a giant ass kisser who will still get overcharged & you’ll take it proudly looking like a damn fool to others with a more broader aspect & sense. Thank you for coming to my Ted talk!

    • Dee MacMillan says:

      How very democratic of you to attack the ideas and feelings of others and calling them names. I do not have a problem with the law suit, these 2 people felt wronged and took legal action. But you? I have a problem with your rude comment. You can kindly disagree with out resorting to name calling.

    • This wasn’t a case of customers being overcharged. The issue is that certain items, like furniture and fabric, are always “on sale” at 30% off. For most stores that 30% discount would mean you couldn’t use any other coupons on the item. But HL did allow you to use the 40% off coupons with furniture and fabric. So instead of getting 30% off the full price, you got 40%. Using the coupon still got you a bigger discount.

      The people suing were arguing that since the items were always 30% off, that discounted price is actually the regular price, and the coupon should entitle you to 40% off the already discounted price. So if an item is regularly priced at 100.00, always on sale for 30% off, then the item always costs 70.00. With a 40% off coupon, HL would give you the item for 40% off the 100.00, so you’d pay 60.00 instead of 70.00 for it. The lawsuit said the 40% should come off the already discounted 70.00 price, making the cost with the coupon 42.00 instead of 60.00 That would mean a discount of 58% off the list price.

      The attempt to force HL to give that 40% percent on top of a 30% percent discount means they just did away with the coupons all together, and now you can only get the items at the regular 30% off. Which means now everyone pays MORE than they did under the old system!

    • You didn’t even bother to read the article, that’s quite clear from your response, you just wrote a bunch of blah blah to get to the truth at the end where you admit you hate Hobby Lobby because the owners are Christian and are open about it, and that makes you mad. Liberals are the most intolerant creatures on the face of the earth.

  5. I do beading and buy my beads at HL and using the 40% off coupon used to help a lot when I bought in bulk.
    Now due to two greedy people most of us will not be getting the coupon anymore. I used my beads to make bracelets for giving to our Breast Cancer center FOC for any patient. Giving a little bit of happiness and hope in a life of despair with their diagnosis. Thanks to those two cretins this does not help.

    • Greed. That is exactly what I was thinking as I read the article. I didn’t use the couponnn very often like some but still, thanks to two people it was ruined for everyone.
      Reminds me of Kroger – they used to offer a 10% discount on Kroger brand items for seniors. I shopped at Kroger regularly and bought the store brands. Saved me a bit and all bits help on a fixed income. But then people started taking advantage…young people using their parents discount, etc. We all lost.

  6. I’ll be shopping at HL no matter what the result of this is. I see the point of the customers, though the wording about not combining it with other discounts should have been clear enough. In this day and age, people look for things to bitch about and take companies to the cleaners if they can. I hope the rewording makes it through and sometime soon. The coupons are always a good thing.

    • Right on. I was a bit surprised when they told me coupon was discontinued. But consider other quilt shops….it was only about time. BUT i`m glad they might reinstate the coupon again. Ya! I do like looking at ideas from different hobbies. Michael’s here only carries only so much. BUT HObby LOBBY goes deeper.
      I like both stores in including joann’s.

  7. WOW!! This coupon thing has sure hit a nerve with some people!! I too like the 40%off coupon because I use it on epoxy/resin which can seldom be found on sale at HL or Michael’s… however that 1 coupon for 1 item isn’t going to make me not ever shop at HL again!! Most of the items in HL rotate on a sale cycle and can be found at 50% every 6 or 8 weeks. The yellow ticket items such as furniture is considered marked 30% off ALL THE TIME. Which is what the lawsuit was about! The coupons clearly stated that items already marked down were not considered full price items therefore a coupon could not be used on it. Didn’t I read that material is also an item that is always 30% off? So again… couldn’t use a coupon anyway. I don’t get why people would say they will NEVER shop there again because of a stupid coupon, and I don’t believe those people are being truthful! I bet they will still show up for the after season sales that are sometimes 90% off sales!! I will probably never buy an item at FULL PRICE at HL but most anything I want will surely go on sale once every couple months anywhere between 50% and 90% off!

  8. Wondering if they plan to lower their prices now, doubt it. Ok, so they’ll keep a few select subcategories on constant sale but the items that I would shop for there rarely if ever are on sale yet are highly marked up resulting in my use of the coupon to bring these things to a reasonable price. An artist item that I needed was 50% more in store than elsewhere online, so it’ll be delivered to me soon free shipping. I would have paid a little more at HL to have it in hand immediately and support a brick & mortar but not double.

    I believe this was the true purpose of the coupon, to allow people to buy an item that falls through the cracks of their sales cycles at the non inflated prices. I have a feeling when the sales on those types of things start to plummet that they will rethink this policy.

    I will still go there but now only if I see the category that I need on sale, so that’ll cut down on impulse buying too. Good luck HL.

  9. Hobby lobby shopper says:

    Boo hoo. Many of us have had life altering events.you learn to make things work.
    You feel robbed of what?
    Have you looked into the other craft stores and how they do specials/coupons?
    I guess you are the type who scours the stores looking for human errors.
    God for bid yoh make any.
    Hope if you get 14.00 dollars, it helps you. You spend it responsibly.
    Thank you for saving the rest of us and those employees, your presence.

  10. So basically…these 2 jerks and I’m being nice….ruined it for everyone else. How freaking selfish.

  11. Anonymous artist says:

    Unhappy that so many didn’t read the article. I buy artist supplies like paint and large canvas. They regularly have discounts on many items. Shop wisely for things you need or desire and wait for the discounts! I will always shop at Hobby Lobby! Those selfish people probably thought they would get more than $14 each but this whole suit hurt everyone and only benefit the attorneys.

    • Exactly!!!
      We have become an entitled people.
      I have been waiting for weeks for something to be on sale. Still not.
      I miss being in their stores nearly weekly with my 40% coupon and of course, picking up a few other sale items while I’m there.
      I hope they bring the coupon back soon!

  12. What happened to lower prices. Without the 40% coupon, prices were supposed to be reduced. Diecast collectibles prices are inflated and a rip off. More than any other store. Actually more that msrp.The coupon was the only reason to shop at hl.

  13. Who would sue over not getting 40 percent off an always discounted item like furniture. Sounds like a couple of people have too much time on their hands or conspired with each other.

    • Exactly. The kind of people who have way too much time and money they should be using in other arenas of life. These are the same handful of people who ruin a good thing for everyone else. I hope this cost them ten-fold in time, attorney, and filing fees. Talk about cutting your nose off in spite of your face.

    • Ok Betty..people like myself who are struggling to raise children and do it so they dont know how ‘Broke’ we really are or how scared, sad and hurt that as a mother, I’m left feeling like a failure because after teaching for 30 years, I was unable to even continue as the director of the Eanes ISD child care program instead of teaching because I had been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and diagnosed with scoliosis when I was little but it was almost impossible to detect it but it had begun to change and warp because of my immune
      deficiency disease. Disability doesn’t pay anywhere near what I was making AND..the minute my income changed, my husband of 15 years abandoned us for a junkie and hasnt paid a dime in child support for years. But I love beautiful things and take pride in our living environment and I am an artist using many mediums but my supplies are expensive.
      People like myself need every and any Avenue we can find to help us be able to provide our children with a better life, even just a little bit better and I have a system of setting up alerts via emails or text from the places I like to shop or need to shop for something specific and if theres any discount or coupon put out or a special sale/clearance going on I will know about it.
      I loved Hobby Lobby and shopped there all the time over the years for my classrooms and home but once my financial situation changed so dramatically
      and I was on a very limited budget and had to pay even more attention to
      Priced..I really was shocked at what I beganto see and Hobby Lobby and CVS are the worst one about false information, scamming customers by the way the
      word things. I have always caught thst kind of crap immediately
      without
      actively looking for it and pointed it out to management and got a run around, denials, excuses and rude behavior. Unfortunately for them, my circle of friends and family is unending and my teaching circle and connections thru networking is even bigger so they’ve lost hundreds of thousands and don’t even know it. Sorry so long but its better than my original response was going to be. However I wi have to say what needs saying because that just who I am.
      Dont disrespect folks by making comments like that anymore. Unless or until you’ve walked a thousand miles in someone’s shoes, be quite and sit down p

      • Give me a freaking break. No one asked for a sob story. You chose to put that out there. Lots of people struggle. Read the fine print. It’s not difficult. I assume you know how to read. Just an FYI….Hobby Lobby has always allowed you to use the 40% off of an item if it was a better deal than the sale. So all you whiners ruined it for everyone. There was literally no need for a lawsuit. People like you have nothing better to do than think the world revolves around them. It’s truly sickening to be so freaking into yourself that you literally couldn’t care less about those around you. You all are pissed because you couldn’t use that coupon on top of clearance or sales. I would say about 99% of stores don’t allow that but go ahead and play dumb and clutch your pearls like they are doing something that every other store isn’t already doing. Good gravy….get a freaking hobby. 🙄

    • sharlene c says:

      Probably a lawyer who saw a loophole

  14. Kitty Basham says:

    Hobby Lobby u will always have my craft business. The 40% off coupon was a gift to us from you. You didn’t owe it to us. I was grateful for it but my shopping your store doesn’t depend on it. U offer so much more to your customers than coupons. Thank you Hobby Lobby for the pleasure you bring to crafters

    • Imagine licking a corporation’s boot this hard. HL is overpriced as hell and the 40% off is the only thing worthwhile for shopping there.

      • The 40% off was only for one item at regular price, so hardly worth it unless you were wanting something that the 40% did some good.. “licking corps boots” wow! Enjoying a store doesn’t always make it a bad thing. Don’t go if you hate it so much.

  15. It’s just takes one or two greedy people to ruin it for everyone! Just want to say thanks to them. You should just know you can’t combine coupons. You ruined it for yourselves too. I hope you’re happy!

  16. I was so disappointed on my last trip to Hobby Lobby and was told no coupons. I felt like I lost a friend. However i did notice that there seemed to be a lot more on sale. I will continue to shop at HL but I will have to be more aware of sale items. If at all possible, please consider reinstating the coupons. It always felt so good to see that listed on the receipt. Must share this…I asked the manager where I could find a specific item. He smiled and said, “I’m surprised you don’t know as often as you’re here”. We all had a laugh. I love my Hobby Lobby and like a marriage…till death do we part!

  17. It appears half the commenters did not read the article. Hobby Lobby was forced to stop the coupons because of two greedy shoppers who sued them. HL is under no obligation to offer any coupon so the fact people are getting all riled up saying they will never shop there again because HL can no longer offer the coupon says a whole lot more about those people than about HL.

    And for everyone saying, “I will just go to JoAnn Fabric or Michaels,” – good luck. Their coupon practices are worse. Those 50% off entire purchase coupons are never on the entire purchase. They have a long disclaimer list of what it will not apply to. JoAnn’s will have certain cotton fabric on sale and other cotton fabric right next to it, not on sale which you don’t find out until you’ve had it all cut. Michael’s is just as bad in terms of having a ‘special priced’ item that their coupons won’t apply to. But – they spell it all out in their flyers so there is no loophole for someone to call it deceptive.

    Here’s an idea… instead of getting all huffy and indignant because the store isn’t giving you a big discount, be grateful we have access to all these wonderful crafting supplies, material, and home decor. Read their sale flyers carefully and make your purchases accordingly. Be grateful HL doesn’t get rid of their ‘always 30% off’ fabric deal so that it’s always more expensive and you have to wait until a sale to purchase it. And above all – Don’t sue and ruin it for everyone.

    • Joann Fabrics has never had a 50% off entire purchase coupon, they also have very specific wording on their coupon terms of use.

    • Everly,

      You are so right in your assessment. People don’t take the time to read what is right in front of them. Funny how two people at the same time decided to sue them.

      Yes, their greed and stupidity took away from everyone else. I love Hobby Lobby. I will go to them before going anywhere else. I will never go to Michel’s unless forced to.

      I will still continue to support HL even without the discount.

    • Scrapping Fan says:

      Well said!!! Bible says “love of money is the root of all evil.” I Timothy 6:6. I have without any reservation found that to be true my entire life. Having money isnt bad, but love of money leads to downfall!!!

    • Hobby lobby fabric is 30% off every other week not always. Sewlodgy is the opposite week at 50% off. Most sales rotate each other. Coupon was not that great when people misused it. I know I work at hobby lobby

  18. Dear Hobby Lobby, thank you for being a Faith-Based Family store. I was disappointed in losing the coupon too, but will still be using your store for all my home crafts. I feel sorry for people that have no faith in anything anymore, but are willing to try and cancel anything that doesn’t fit their agenda. I will continue to pray for everyone, no matter race, gender, bias and the two activists who should be ashamed of themselves!

  19. Brenda Thompson says:

    Yes I went into Hobby Lobby as well and noticed they were no longer accepting coupons. I like the store and the products they carry. I have had problems with another fabric store and how they accept coupons and do their discounts so this was not a big problem. We have become a society of people with a Walmart mentality. We all want our discounts. I lived overseas for a couple years and found the stores gave a discount of THREE CENTS. I had to laugh. Definitely not enough discount to make me want to drive across town to purchase the item. What is enough of a discount to make it worth your while…20%, 30%, 40% AND if they ALL went away what would we do?

  20. Carol Seger says:

    That law suit had nothing to do with unfair practices. They sued Hobby Lobby to persecute them because they’re a faith based company. Being angry because they discontinued the coupon is ridiculous. They were forced to do it. I was disappointed when I found out they wouldn’t take my coupon too. But now I know the story behind it, it was the only decision they could make. I love that store and I’m sure not petty enough to sue them for a silly coupon. Hang tough, Hobby Lobby. Many of us are behind you 100%.

  21. Helen Favaron says:

    I love going in for several items that are on sale but there is always at least one item that is regular priced that I use the 40% coupon for. I was very disappointed today when I was told, by the cashier, that they no longer have the coupon. I was already at the register ready to check out do I continue with my purchase. From now on I’ll save that one item “not on sale” for Walmart!
    I also frequently shop at JoAnns where their 40% off coupon is on “the entire purchase” guess they’ll need getting most of my business in the future.

    • Exactly I agree about going somewhere else.All they did was mark up prices then offer a coupon anyway.family based! Ha! Money hungry just like chick fill A’s outrageous prices.

      • Not necessarily so I worked there. You have to understand business. They have to pay all employees plus, electric and gas , water, at each place of business. The also are entitle to commission. No one does business for nothing.

  22. I already side eye Hobby Lobby for their ridiculous political nonsense (you’re a store, HL, leave your belief system at home where I’m expected to leave mine!), but there is no other option in my rural area to buy fabric. I have previously avoided buying online because fabric can feel so different in person but I’d rather risk it than continue to support this disaster of a store.

  23. M.B. Morris says:

    It s ]awful that a few people can cause so much trouble and spoil it for everyone. I truly like the fact you are closed on Sundays but I bet there are people out to get you all the time. This might even be the case. I too was surprised to find out coupons were gone. Your picture frames are always on sale but not the other day. So was going to use my coupon but was told no more. I will admit I almost left the frame. I will now be more careful on my purchases.

  24. Donna Johnston says:

    How disappointed I was to find out there are no more coupons. I got the shock at the register. Did not know the coupon had been discontinued. I bought wide fabric that I wanted use the coupon on. Guess I’ll wait til Jo-Ann has it on sale.

  25. Rebecca Horton says:

    Thanks hobby lobby for canceling your coupon because you have assured that I will not enter your store as often and when I do I’ll make sure I only buy the one thing that I went in there for. Lots of times I bought plenty without ever using a coupon but today I wanted to use it and got the surprise that oh that’s been discontinued whatever I don’t need to shop there

    • Did anyone actually read the article? The idiots that sued Hobby Lobby caused them to remove the coupon! Blame the sue happy dummies!

  26. Martha Cooper says:

    I am SO SO disappointed , I love going to Hobby Lobby
    it’s like being on a FIELD TRIP and one of the reasons i love it is the coupons . And now NO COUPONS this is just a BUMMER for all of us who LOVE going on a field trip.
    PLEASE BRING BACK THE COUPONS

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