The arts-and-crafts chain is keeping stores open in states that have yet to order non-essential businesses to close. On its website, Hobby Lobby stated that it's taking measures to keep shoppers and workers from becoming infected, including "enhanced cleaning" and a ban on international travel.
Hobby Lobby, closed Sundays to allow employees time for family and worship. The chain appeared to be adhering to restrictions imposed by some states and municipalities. The person who answered the phone at a Hobby Lobby store in Columbus, Ohio, said the store was open Monday until 8 p. The Oklahoma-based retailer's stance drew a sharp rebuke from retail analyst Neil Saunders, who wrote in a tweet: "Hobby Lobby, closed Sundays to allow employees time for family and worship.
Open during a pandemic because our morals aren't really all that great. Supreme Court ruling exempting them from providing certain contraceptive coverage for employees. Business Hobby Lobby open during coronavirus pandemic, even as other retailers close. As major U. Courtesy of Hobby Lobby. Hobby Lobby did not return a request for comment.
All Rights Reserved.As Hobby Lobby continues its mission to keep doors open in the face of the coronavirus, the arts-and-crafts retailer is quietly reopening stores around the country, defying states' stay-at-home policies. On Monday, the company resumed business in several states where it had been forced to temporarily close. In a separate leaked note sent last week, executives wrote that the company "is going to make every effort to continue working the employees.
The reopenings include stores in Ohio and Wisconsin — which both enacted strict shelter-in-place orders on March 24 — where nearly all Hobby Lobby locations have been reopened after shuttering for only one week. During calls Business Insider made to each location, employees confirmed that all 19 Hobby Lobby locations in Ohio were open as of Monday afternoon, as were 17 out of 20 stores in Wisconsin that were still listed as "temporarily closed" on Google.
Of the three stores closed in Wisconsin, at least one was forcibly shuttered by police officers after briefly opening on Monday, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. An employee at that store told Business Insider on Monday it was closed but that employees were there "working on projects. Despite mandates in at least 32 states calling for the closure of nonessential businesses, Hobby Lobby appears to be doing everything in its power to avoid shutting its doors.
Hobby Lobby Defies Stay-at-Home Orders by Reopening Some Stores
Four Hobby Lobby employees in North Carolina, Ohio, and another state in the Midwest — who spoke with Business Insider on condition of anonymity for fear of retribution but whose employment statuses and identities have been confirmed — said they continued to receive contradictory instructions regarding store operations. Not even four days later, we're reopened because they're saying we're essential now.
The employee, who is also a military veteran with post-traumatic stress disorder, said his attempts to contact the Ohio Department of Health and the office of Gov. Mike DeWine have gone unanswered. We're trying to take care of my mother who had knee surgery and also has multiple sclerosis, which is an autoimmune disease.
I don't want to bring it home and get her infected," he said. I want to stay home to do my part to stop the spread of the virus. Signs and tape for social distancing in a Hobby Lobby store. Courtesy of Hobby Lobby employee. Elsewhere, in states such as Colorado and North Carolina — which enacted stay-at-home protocols in the past few days — Hobby Lobby is avoiding shutting down altogether, insisting it is "essential" because it sells educational materials and products for home-based businesses.
However, employees told Business Insider they were frustrated by these justifications, given that Hobby Lobby does not sell universally accepted essential items like food, toiletries, medicine, and cleaning products.
Adding to their frustration, two employees said the company's warehouse in Oklahoma City has been closed until further notice, meaning stores aren't even able to restock the inventory that managers and executives are claiming are essential. I'm honestly appalled at this company and the way it doesn't care for its employees and only about making their money. The employees said they were worried about their personal safety and a lack of resources needed to maintain a clean and sanitized workspace.
The North Carolina employee said her team was not allowed to wear gloves or masks while working because management told them "it would make customers uncomfortable. Others are concerned their stores aren't equipped with adequate cleaning supplies or the manpower needed to clean effectively. Hobby Lobby executives began slashing jobs and cutting salaries last week to cut costs in states with stores required to close because of state regulations.
I'm just very anxious about this whole thing and don't understand why no one is helping us employees out with this situation. Do you have a personal experience with the coronavirus you'd like to share? Or a tip on how your town or community is handling the pandemic?Hobby Lobby is not closing stores during the COVID pandemic in areas that have not issued strict shelter-in-place guidelines. It's misleading to suggest Hobby Lobby refuses to close all its stores, because it has closed stores in locations where "non-essential businesses" have been required to do so.
The total number of Hobby Lobby stores that have closed is unclear, as is whether or not CEO David Green sent a letter to employees mentioning that his wife had received a message from God. The company explained on its website that it was taking some precautionary measures, such as increasing the frequency of store cleanings.
But a letter supposedly sent by Hobby Lobby CEO David Green to employees suggested the company had other ideas about what would keep employees safe. Guide, Guard, and Groom. We serve a God who will Guide us through this storm, who will Guard us as we travel to places never seen before, and who, as a result of this experience, will Groom us to be better than we could have ever thought possible before now.
CBS News reports :.
The chain appeared to be adhering to restrictions imposed by some states and municipalities. The person who answered the phone at a Hobby Lobby store in Columbus, Ohio, said the store was open Monday until 8 p. Hobby Lobby refuses to close during this pandemic. There are over 40 cases in my area. Store manager refuses to close. This is the Imgur link to that letter. Some people have outright walked out.
Hobby Lobby open during coronavirus pandemic, even as other retailers close
Considering doing the same soon. Why do I have to put up with this? The Reddit user who posted the letter responded to dozens of comments and questions in that thread. We reached out to the user directly for more information but have yet to receive a response. But we can say that we found no indication that this was a hoax. The day before the above-displayed image went viral, another Redditor posted an image showing the same letter allegedly sent by Hobby Lobby:.
However, we have not been able to definitively confirm that this letter was written and sent out by Green, nor has Hobby Lobby responded to our request for comment. The story of a Texas woman who reportedly shared a Facebook post claiming the coronavirus outbreak was a hoax — and later reportedly died from the virus — reminds us of the dangerous potential of misinformation.
The coronavirus responsible for COVID has deadly adaptations that make it perfect for infecting humans.
But this is a testament to natural selection, not bioengineering. Pollution levels in India did drop dramatically in Aprilbut beyond that the story gets a little more hazy.
Hobby Lobby announces closure, other craft stores remain open as 'essential' business
The U. No, but Walmart and other stores have set aside dedicated shopping hours for senior citizens. According to Arizona Rep.By creating an account, you verify that you are at least 13 years of age, and have read and agree to the PopCulture.
Despite previous claims from Hobby Lobby owner David Green that a " vision from God " told him and his wife to keep the chain open, stores are closing and the company might be making it worse. According to The Frontierthe Oklahoma-based business has closed its stores in the state and then turned around to cut employee pay due to the outbreak while also terminating at least 32 employees in Hobby Lobby's art and creative department.
A letter sent out Friday to the affected employees noted that the layoff is permanent and encouraged them to seek unemployment benefits. They were also told that a company representative will stop by homes to deliver "personal belongings" and company badges or equipment. They're expecting their workers to shoulder the full financial burden while they turn billions in profit. I truly and deeply appreciate your service to this Department and the Company, and wish you the very best as this calamity hopefully ends in the very near future.
Hobby Lobby closes its stores after defying coronavirus stay-at-home orders
The closing of the stores in Oklahoma is not a decision by the company but more a response to the state's orders shuttering all non-essential businesses. Several other states have seen stores close for similar reasons, including Texas, California, New York, and Maryland. The Frontier notes that stores have not closed in states like Minnesota, Arkansas, and Georgia.
In her quiet prayer time this past week, the Lord put on Barbara's heart three profound words to remind us that He's in control. Guide, Guard and Groom. We serve a God who will Guide us through this storm, who will Guard us as we travel to places never seen before, and who, as a result of this experience, will Groom us to be better than we could have ever thought possible before now," Green wrote in a letter to company employees. Green's statement added that the company may have to "tighten our belts" but pressed on for managers to keep their stores open unless ordered to shutter.
They closed. Anyone in Oklahoma who can trace their COVID19 positive exposure to hobby lobby employees with the exception of shopping there should sue. No severance. No insurance. Grace," one user wrote on social media. Remember me on this device Login. Register - Forgot Password. Celebrity Arrow.
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Last week, Gov. Tony Evers ordered all nonessential businesses to close under his safer-at-home order. The order stays in effect until 8 a.
Greenfield Ave. The business was cooperative and closed without incident. For more coronavirus coverage, sign up for our daily newsletter. To support local journalism, consider subscribing to one of our publications. Live updates: The latest on coronavirus in Wisconsin. Daily digest: What you need to know about coronavirus in Wisconsin.
Jeff Knop on Tuesday. An employee at the Waukesha store indicated around p. The Waukesha Police Department had previously indicated it had been made aware of complaints about the craft store and other similar businesses remaining open and that the city was in discussions with Hobby Lobby about its ability to be open. The Wauwatosa store remained open as of p.
Wednesday morning, calls to the store went unanswered. An online notice said all local stores were closed. A message left for the WEDC regarding the status of other craft stores as nonessential businesses was not returned in time for this story's deadline.
Other craft stores in the area have continued business as usual, albeit with shortened hours. An employee at one location said via phone they did not expect to be closed in the near future. Its Greenfield and Menomonee Falls stores had closed, while the Cudahy and Brookfield locations remained open.
Chris Garcia. Under Evers' order, grocery stores, hardware and supplies stores are considered essential, along with other "critical" trades and manufacturers. Follow him on Twitter at CyrtHogg. Share This Story!Hobby Lobby finally closed all of its stores in the U.
Nearly all of the store employees will be furloughed, as well as a large portion of corporate and distribution employees, according to a statement from the company.
The closure and furlough took effect Friday evening and will remain in place until further notice, the statement read. On Wednesday, stores in Colorado were still open despite being deemed a nonessential business and ordered to close.
In the company's statement announcing it would close, it appeared to defend its previous decision to remain open. The company also detailed the measures it took to provide a safer shopping environment, including installing physical barriers between customers and cashiers. While the stores are closed, the company is ending its emergency leave pay and paid time off benefits.
Employees will still have medical, dental, life, and long-term disability benefits for employees while furloughed through at least May 1,according to Hobby Lobby's statement. The coronavirus crisis in the U.
Only nine states have not implemented formal, statewide stay-at-home orders: Arkansas, Iowa all nonessential businesses closed until April 7Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma closed all nonessential businessesSouth Carolina closed all nonessential businessesSouth Dakota, Utah and Wyoming closed all nonessential businesses last Friday.
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Turn on desktop notifications for breaking stories about interest? Comments 0. Hobby Lobby closes its stores after defying coronavirus stay-at-home orders.
US Treasury Department begins sending stimulus checks: Source.The arts-and-crafts chain Hobby Lobby was accused of defying stay-at-home orders in at least four states during the coronavirus outbreak, prompting officials to take action against the retailer. The moves by state and local authorities in Colorado, Indiana, Ohio and Wisconsin to shut the stores down came as governors across much of the United States have signed stay-at-home orders and health authorities have urged Americans to practice social distancing.
In Florida, a pastor was arrested after defying virus orders. Eric Kuhn, the senior assistant state attorney general of Colorado, where there are 10 stores, sent a cease-and-desist letter to the company after it had reopened its stores in the state this week. Jared Polis directing Coloradans to stay at home and requiring all businesses to close that were not designated by state health officials as critical. It hurts. Yost tweeted on Thursday. The authorities in Wisconsin, where there are also 10 stores and a stay-at-home order is in place until April 24, encountered similar issues with Hobby Lobby stores.
Store locations in other cities around the state were also forced to close on Tuesday after reopening on Monday. In Jeffersonville, Ind. The store had initially closed on March 24, according to WLKYbut some employees were asked to return to work when the store reopened. Last week, Gov. Eric J. Holcomb of Indiana had issued a statewide stay-at-home order, which outlined grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations as some of the essential businesses allowed to remain open.
While several Hobby Lobby stores in Indiana did appear to be closed on Thursday, employees answering phones at three locations said the stores remained opened; they referred questions about operating during the outbreak to their corporate office. Hobby Lobby, which has more than stores across 46 states and is based in Oklahoma City, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Last month, the company announced in a statement about Covid that it was closely monitoring developments to ensure it was following recommendations from health authorities. The company also announced new efforts to safeguard the health and safety of its customers and employees. In Colorado, Mr. Kuhn wrote that Hobby Lobby had until 5 p.
In a ruling in favor of Hobby Lobby and a second company, both of which were owned by Christian families, the Supreme Court said the provision had violated a federal law protecting religious freedom.
This is a difficult question, because a lot depends on how well the virus is contained. McClellan, Lauren Silvis and Crystal Watson staked out four goal posts for recovery : Hospitals in the state must be able to safely treat all patients requiring hospitalization, without resorting to crisis standards of care; the state needs to be able to at least test everyone who has symptoms; the state is able to conduct monitoring of confirmed cases and contacts; and there must be a sustained reduction in cases for at least 14 days.
Charity Navigatorwhich evaluates charities using a numbers-based system, has a running list of nonprofits working in communities affected by the outbreak.