Hobby Lobby Signs Lease for City Store
Plans Call for Using Former Kmart Space
Hobby Lobby, a national chain that sells arts and crafts supplies, party materials, fabric and home decor items has reportedly signed a 10-year lease in the former Kmart space on Washington St. No official announcement has been made by the company or the City to date, and attempts to contact the company for comment were not successful prior to publication.
David and Barbara Green opened their first store in 1972 and have grown the business to more than 790 stores with approximately 32,000 employees and a presence in 47 states, according to their website. The business is headquartered in Oklahoma City. Stores are open Monday through Saturday and closed on Sundays, in deference to the ownersʼ religious practices. Hobby Lobby has made national news in recent years, beyond its successful retail enterprise. In 2012, David Green took a public stance against the ACA, citing its inclusion of a provision mandating that companies provide access to the morning- after pill. Hobby Lobby filed a lawsuit and the case eventually made it to the Supreme Court where it was ruled 5-4 that Hobby Lobby and other "closely held" stock corporations can choose to be exempt from the law based on religious preferences, based on the Religious Freedom Restoration Act but not on the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.
Son Steve Green is the president of Hobby Lobby and founder of the new Museum of the Bible which recently opened in Washington, DC.
The Kmart site will offer some 52,000 square feet of space for Hobby Lobby. The company opened 63 new stores in 2017, including 12 relocated stores, and plans to open 60 more new stores in 2018, hiring some 2,500 employees. Each store offers more than 70,000 products, including floral, fabric, needle art, custom framing, baskets, home accents, wearable art, arts and crafts, jewelry making, scrapbooking and paper crafting supplies.
Excitement arose on social media over the prospects of Hobby Lobby coming to the City, and many posters said they were looking forward to the business opening.