County Schools to Benefit from State Settlement with Michaels Stores

Every school in Oswego County will benefit a little bit from the settlement of a legal case against the Michaels arts and crafts store chain.

New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced Monday that Michaels Stores, Inc. will send every school building within driving distance of a Michaels store a gift card for $300.

Michaels has a store in Clay, so every district in the county is included in the settlement.

Central Square will receive 8 $300 gift cards because it operates 8 buildings.  Oswego is next with 7 buildings.  Fulton will receive 6 gift cards. APW will receive 5.  Hannibal, Phoenix and Sandy Creek will receive 3 each.  Pulaski will receive 2, and Oswego County BOCES will receive one gift card.

The Attorney General’s office said it tracked the alleged sales in Michaels’ newspaper inserts for two years and found that it advertised a 50% off sale for its custom framing service every week for two years.

The law prohibits sales that are never-ending, the Attorney General’s office said.

Michaels Stores admitted no wrongdoing as part of the settlement.  It will make $1 million in gift cards available to more than 700 school districts in the state, pay a civil penalty of $800,000 and has agreed to change its advertising practices.

“For years, Michaels duped consumers into thinking they were receiving huge discounts, when in fact, they were simply paying the regular store price,” said Attorney General Schneiderman in a statement. “Through deceptive advertising practices, this company violated the law and took advantage of hardworking consumers trying to save money. In addition to the civil penalties, the company is paying for their actions by providing $1 million in school supplies for hundreds of school districts statewide.”