Hobby Lobby Forced to Close, Despite Providing ‘Essential’ Goods
By Allyson Vannatta, Staff Writer
Hobby Lobby is now being forced to close its doors as it’s not considered an essential business during this time.
The past few weeks, some Hobby Lobby’s in the United States kept their doors open despite stay-at-home orders.
Other craft stores like Michael’s and JOANN did the same.
According to a tweet from Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost, Hobby Lobby first closed their doors when Ohio enacted the stay at home order, then backtracked and re-opened.
Hobby Lobby properly closed its stores during Ohio’s stay-home order.
Now they’re open again — what’s changed? Neither the order, nor the seriousness of the health threat, for sure.
I sent a cease & desist letter to their general counsel. https://t.co/HVqDhFfhqo
— Dave Yost (@Yost4Ohio) April 1, 2020
In another tweet, Yost informed followers that Hobby Lobby’s general counsel said they would comply with the stay-at-home order and close all Ohio locations.
The same thing happened in Wisconsin. According to USA Today, some stores closed for a small time, but then re-opened. Now, police there are asking for legal advice as to how to best handle the situation.
Finally, the same happened in Jeffersonville, Indiana, where Hobby Lobby was forced to shut its doors last Monday.
Managing editor of the retail consultancy group Global Data, Neil Saunders, said he feels, “all of the craft stores have behaved irresponsibly during this crisis and have only closed their stores when they have been absolutely forced to do so.”
He stated materials for people to make masks can be ordered online instead of in store.
Sucharita Kodali, a retail analyst at Forrester, said it’s about following the rules. Businesses that don’t offer food, pharmacy or transportation are all considered non-essential.
“I know the crafts stores would love to be considered ‘essential,’ but others in home office and electronics have had the same issues. They have just leaned into contactless curbside pickup. That seems to be OK – just not keeping the stores open to the public.”
USA Today reports that Hobby Lobby’s CEO David Green sent a letter to employees about closures.
“While we do not know for certain what the future holds, or how long this disruption will last, we can all rest in knowing that God is in control. To help ensure our Company remains strong and prepared to prosper once again when this passes, we may all have to ‘tighten our belts’ over the near future.”
They also reported on how managers at the shops received memos on “how to respond and communicate if visited by a local authority that asks why we are open.”