Defendant Great Minneapolis Surplus Store has caused the advertisement in the newspaper of their sale of fur coats and stole. The advertisement indicated that the merchandise originally cost $100 but they would be selling the same article for only $1 on a particular date on a first come first served basis. When plaintiff Lefkowitz arrived at their store on the specified dates, he was informed on two separate occasions that his purchase could not be entertained because the sale is open only to women and not to men despite the fact that he was the first one to arrive at the store.
Due to this incident, plaintiff asks for damages for breach of contract. The Municipal Court granted his prayer and awarded $138. 50 as damages. The respondent store relies on the argument that the advertisement was merely an invitation to make an offer, not supported by any consideration and therefore can be withdrawn anytime. They further contend that it is the buyer who will make an offer subject to the approval of the seller. Issues: Whether or not the offer in the advertisement constitutes a binding contractual obligation on the part of the seller?
Holding: Yes Ratio decidendi: The Court held that what determines the binding nature of an advertisement addressed to the general public “whether the facts show that some performance was promised in positive terms in return for something requested. ” In this case, the offer is already clear, definite and explicit and therefore leaving nothing open for negotiation. Mere acceptance by the buyer constitutes an obligation on the part of the seller to perform the advertised service.
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