MONTREAL — The Brick Ltd. (TSX:BRK) has agreed to pay $2 million to settle a class-action lawsuit filed three years ago over claims the retailer's advertising erroneously suggested that customers pay no additional costs if they purchase goods on credit.
The Quebec Superior Court approved the settlement Tuesday in a suit launched by Option consommateurs, a Quebec consumer rights group.
The Brick's "Do not pay for 15 months'' program in fact required a $35 annual membership fee.
The furniture chain has agreed to reimburse customers who used this program before May 1, 2010.
Customers who made purchases before May 1, 2009, will receive funds directly by mail in January. Other qualified customers must first complete a form on the website www.brickrecourscollectif.com as of the new year.
The Edmonton-based company earned $18.7 million in profits in its latest quarter on $368.5 million of revenues.
It operates 162 corporate stores, down from 173 a year ago.
Toronto-based Leon's Furniture Ltd. (TSX:LNF) announced earlier this month that it would purchase The Brick for $700 million.
Leon's said the deal would enhance the competitiveness of both chains in an increasingly gritty retail environment even though both banners will continue to fly separately.