Abercrombie & Fitch to face class-action suit on gift cards

New York City -- Abercrombie & Fitch Co. was ordered by U.S. District Judge Gary Feinerman in Chicago to answer a class-action lawsuit by shoppers who claimed the retailer voided holiday gift cards that said they had "no expiration date," Reuters reported.

In December 2009, Abercrombie ran a promotion in which it issued nearly 200,000 gift cards valued at $25 each to shoppers who spent at least $100 on a single purchase.

According to court papers, Abercrombie voided the cards around Jan. 30, 2010, explaining that the cards were enclosed in sleeves containing that expiration date, the report said.

In court papers, retailer insisted that the cardholders be forced to sue separately because they were too different from one another to sue as a group. Among other things, the retailer said some people got their cards in stores and others online, and some with the sleeve and others without.

But the judge said it was fair to certify a class of plaintiffs who still hold the cards, and plaintiffs who threw out their cards after being told they had expired or were void.

"The class in this case consists primarily of individuals holding an Abercrombie promotional gift card whose value was voided on or around January 30, 2010. That criterion is as objective as they come," Feinerman wrote.