Hobby Lobby

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Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.
Type Privately held corporation
Industry Retail
Founded Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (August 1972 (1972-08))
Number of locations 561 stores (2012)
Key people
Products Arts and crafts supplies
Revenue IncreaseUS$ 2.28 billion (2011)[1]
Employees 21,000[1]

Hobby Lobby stores are a chain of retail arts and crafts stores based in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA, and were formally called Hobby Lobby Creative Centers. The stores are wholly owned by the corporation and not a franchise chain. The company was founded by David Green on August 3, 1972, and as of August 2012 the chain has 561 stores nationwide. Hobby Lobby headquarters are located in a 3,400,000-square-foot (320,000 m2) manufacturing, distribution, and office complex.

Business practices[edit]

Hobby Lobby stores and facilities are open for business every day except for Sunday, in accordance with the founder's Christian beliefs.[2] Hobby Lobby plays a mixture of light jazz, classical, bluegrass, and contemporary music styles in stores, distributed by satellite from its Oklahoma headquarters. A large percentage of the music also incorporates instrumental versions of traditional Christian hymns and popular Christian songs by Zoe Girl, Vince Gill, and Jim Brickman.[3] Rather than utilizing a barcode system, the organization uses manual pricing for ordering of product and accounting. The website states they "continue to look at and review the option of scanning at the registers but do not feel it is right for [them] at this time."[2]

Opposition to Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act[edit]

In September 2012, Hobby Lobby filed a lawsuit against the United States over new regulations requiring health insurance provided by employers to cover emergency contraceptives, stating that, "(t)he Green family's religious beliefs forbid them from participating in, providing access to, paying for, training others to engage in, or otherwise supporting abortion-causing drugs and devices."[4][5] Hobby Lobby is arguing that the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act serve to protect their religious beliefs and accordingly bars the application of the contraceptive mandate to them.[6] The U.S. Supreme Court rejected the company's application for an injunction, prompting it to sue the federal government.[7][8] On July 19, 2013, the company was granted a temporary exemption from the contraceptive-providing mandate by US District Judge Joe Heaton.[9]

On January 28, 2014, an amicus brief was filed with the Supreme Court by the Center for Inquiry.[10] In contrast, this argues that were the court to grant Hobby Lobby an exclusion which permitted the company to exclude any specific healthcare service from its provision to employees on the basis of the owners' religious beliefs, they would violate the Establishment Clause, also part of the First Amendment. The Establishment Clause states that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion".

Oral arguments in the case, Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby, were heard on March 25, 2014.[11]

On April 1, 2014, Mother Jones revealed that Hobby Lobby's employee retirement plan has more than $73M invested in mutual funds, some of which invest in manufacturers of contraception, including some forms which are specifically named in the complaint, even though there exist several boutique mutual funds that specifically screen companies that are not in line with their client's religious beliefs.[12]

Holiday merchandise controversy[edit]

In September 2013, a shopper reported being told by an employee of the store in Marlboro, New Jersey, it did not carry merchandise celebrating Jewish holidays. While the store carried Christmas items, they did not carry items related to bar mitzvah, Hanukkah, or Passover. The store employee told the shopper that these items were not sold, due to the owner's Christian values.[13][14] In response, Hobby Lobby apologized for the employee's comments, stating that it has carried Jewish holiday items in the past, and would do so in test areas beginning in November 2013.[15]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "#194 Hobby Lobby Stores". Forbes.com LLC. November 16, 2011. Retrieved Dec 29, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b "Hobby Lobby Frequently Asked Questions". Hobby Lobby. Retrieved 2007-01-04. 
  3. ^ "Store Music". Hobby Lobby. Retrieved 2012-12-02. 
  4. ^ Olafson, Steve (September 13, 2012). "Hobby Lobby Sues U.S. Government Over Health Care Mandate". Chicago Tribune. 
  5. ^ Talley, Tim (September 12, 2012). "Hobby Lobby sues over morning-after pill coverage". Bloomberg Businessweek. 
  6. ^ Scudder, Mark D.; Barnes & Thornburg LLP (November 28, 2013). "It's Official—The Supreme Court Announces That It Will Review The Contraceptive Mandate". The National Law Review. Retrieved December 11, 2013. 
  7. ^ "Hobby Lobby Has Its Day in Court; Argues Case for Religious Freedom". Christianpost.com. 2013-05-24. Retrieved 2013-10-08. 
  8. ^ "Supreme Court denies Hobby Lobby request for reprieve from health care mandate". Fox News. 2012-12-26. Retrieved 2013-10-08. 
  9. ^ Stempel, Jonathan (July 19, 2013). "Hobby Lobby wins a stay against birth control mandate". Reuters.com. Retrieved 2013-10-08. 
  10. ^ "Press release - Amicus brief to Supreme Court". Center For Inquiry. January 28, 2014. Retrieved February 6, 2014. 
  11. ^ http://www.supremecourt.gov/oral_arguments/argument_transcripts/13-354_5436.pdf
  12. ^ Hobby Lobby's Hypocrisy: The Company's Retirement Plan Invests in Contraception Manufacturers, by Molly Redden, at Mother Jones; published April 1, 2014; retrieved April 1, 2014
  13. ^ Hafiz, Yasmine (October 2, 2013). "Hobby Lobby Boycotts Jewish Hanukkah And Passover - Huffington Post - October 2, 2013". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2013-10-08. 
  14. ^ Kate Taylor (2013-09-30). "Hobby Lobby Backtracks After Reportedly Refusing to Stock Jewish Holiday Goods". Entrepreneur.com. Retrieved 2013-10-09. 
  15. ^ Palmer, Jennifer (2013-10-04). "Hobby Lobby's President Steve Green responds to blogger's anti-Semitism claim". News OK. Retrieved 2013-10-09. 

External links[edit]