Summary of Lefkowitz v. Greater Minneapolis Surplus Store, Inc
S. Ct. Minnesota, 1957
Facts: Lefkowitz read an ad in the newspaper for certain furs on sale on a first come first serve basis. Upon presentment, as the first customer, on two consecutive occasions, the DF refused to sell the items to the PL. The stole and Fur coats were advertised at $1 each. The store claimed house rule that the sale was only redeemable to women only.
Issue: Whether the newspaper advertisement, relating to the sale of the furs, constituted an offer, and if so, when the PL presented payment constituted an acceptance?
Procedure: Appeal from Municipal Ct. By df/ee store which denied motion for amended findings or new trial. Order granted PL $138.50 for breach of contract. Affirmed.
Rule: When a binding obligation originates in advertisements addressed to the general public the facts must show that some performance in positive terms in return for something requested. The offer has to be clear, definite, and explicit.
Ct. Rationale: The offer by DF was clear, definite, and explicit, and left nothing to negotiate. The PL was the first one to appear, at the store upon opening, requested the articles advertised while offering the price advertised constituted mutual assent and the obligation of a contract.
PL A: The DF advertised for two consecutive weeks clearly, definitely, and explicitly the items available and their prices, including the conditions negotiable.
Def A: The advertisement was a unilateral offer, construed as an invitation for an offer of sale, which may be accepted or rejected, and until accepted by the seller, it is not a contract.