After initially indicating that they would stay open throughout the coronavirus crisis, Hobby Lobby has decided to close all of its stores.
Here’s what happened:
Hobby Lobby has closed all 800+ stores until further notice.
Having faced significant pressure from local, state, and national authorities, Hobby Lobby closed all of its stores, effective 8 p.m. Friday, April 3, until further notice.
In the midst of forced closures of non-essential businesses, Hobby Lobby stayed open, claiming it was an essential business because it sells “materials to make personal protective equipment, such as face masks, educational supplies” and products that small arts and crafts businesses use.
The company fought all over the place to stay open.
Earlier this month, police — in trying to enforce Wisconsin’s shutdown orders — closed four stores in the Milwaukee area.
Hobby Lobby closed and then reopened stores in Colorado, Indiana, and Ohio, which led to state representatives sending the company “cease and desist” letters to Hobby Lobby leadership.
The chain faced a number of these small battles in various locations throughout the country, ultimately deciding to close all stores.
Hobby Lobby has furloughed nearly all of its 37,500 employees.
At the same time as announcing store closures, Hobby Lobby indicated that “nearly all store employees and a large portion of corporate and distribution employees” will be furloughed through at least May 1, 2020.
Although employees with health benefits would still receive those during the closures, they won’t be paid, nor will they be able to use their accrued sick time or vacation time. Instead, the company memo encouraged workers to file unemployment claims immediately.
The website remains open for business; no pickup available.
Hobby Lobby’s in-store sales apply to their online store, according to the weekly ad published on the website. Shipping is not free on most items, but from time to time they offer free shipping on orders of $50 or more.
There is no in-store or curbside pickup available.
Meanwhile, Joann Fabrics and Michaels are still open.
The pressure on Hobby Lobby hasn’t quite hit other craft stores the same way, so far.
Michaels’ COVID-19 response has been to cancel large events and increase the cleaning of all high-traffic, high-touch areas. They have closed in areas of the country and introduced curbside pickup at certain locations, but still have locations open, to the chagrin of employees.
While some JOANN locations are still open, the chain has reduced store hours, introduced curbside and in-store pickup, and has canceled events. However, a petition to close JOANN has more than 12K signatures and climbing.