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Although Hobby Lobby’s owner has vowed to stay open in the midst of coronavirus, some states’ orders to shutter non-essential businesses has forced many locations to close.
Hobby Lobby, the retail craft store based in Oklahoma, closed all of the stores in its home state last week, joining closures in most other states, including New York, California and Texas — while stores in states such as Georgia, Colorado, Minnesota, Arkansas and Idaho remain open. The company has more than 900 stores and 43,000 employees nationwide.
Hobby Lobby is staying open wherever it can.
Over the last week or so, Hobby Lobby has been strained by the coronavirus outbreak, despite keeping many stores open. On March 24, the corporate office told stores they would remain open unless required to close by the government, while announcing layoffs of 1/3 of part-timers and a 10% pay cut for full-time, salaried employees.
Some part-time, full-time employees have already been laid off.
Over the last week, Hobby Lobby began laying off some employees — first, 32 workers in the company’s Art and Creative Department, then “hundreds of part-time employees,” per journalist Kendall Brown. The employees were told the layoff is permanent, and were encouraged to seek unemployment.