Hobby Lobby in Stow, Ohio
|Privately held corporation|
|Founded||Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (August 1972)|
Number of locations
|600 stores (2015)|
|Products||Arts and crafts supplies|
|Revenue||US$ 3.3 billion (2013)|
Number of employees
David Green opened the first Hobby Lobby store, in a 600-square-foot (56 m2) space in northwest Oklahoma City, in 1972. Retail sales were $3,200 from August to the end of the year. He moved to a larger 1,000 square foot space in January 1973. A second store in Oklahoma City opened in 1975, and a store opened in Tulsa, Oklahoma the next year. It grew to seven stores by mid 1982, and the first store outside Oklahoma opened in 1984.
By the start of 1989, the chain had about 15 stores. By late 1992, it had grown to 50 locations in seven states, and its growth continued to accelerate. Its 100th store opened in August 1995, and its 200th in August 1999. By March 2002, that number had grown to 281 stores in 24 states, and 310 by October 2003.
Hobby Lobby stores and facilities are open for business every day with the exception of Sunday due to Green's Christian beliefs. He wanted his employees to have more time to spend for worship, rest, and family, even at the expense of profits. Hobby Lobby sites play a mixture of light jazz, classical, bluegrass, contemporary, and a variety of music styles such as pop and country over their speakers in stores, distributed by satellite from the Oklahoma City headquarters to each store. A large percentage of the music also incorporates old elevator music.
Rather than using a barcode system, the company uses manual pricing for product ordering 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".
Opposition to Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
David Green has taken a public stance against the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, citing its inclusion of a provision mandating that companies provide access to the morning-after pill, which some consider an abortifacient.
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: "(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". Hobby Lobby argued 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. The U.S. Supreme Court rejected the company's application for an injunction, prompting the firm to sue the federal government. On July 19, 2013, US District Judge Joe Heaton granted the company a temporary exemption from the contraceptive-providing mandate.
In contrast, on January 28, 2014, the Center for Inquiry filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court arguing 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, the firm would violate the Establishment Clause, also part of the First Amendment. The Establishment Clause states: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion".
On April 1, 2014, Mother Jones stated that the employee 401(k) plan, for which Hobby Lobby matches employee contributions, has more than $73 million 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.
Supreme Court decision
On June 30, 2014, the Supreme Court 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.
Holiday merchandise controversy
In September 2013, a shopper reported being told by a store employee, in Marlboro, New Jersey, Hobby Lobby 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 these items were not sold due to the owner's Christian values. 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.
- "Hobby Lobby Stores". Forbes.com LLC. Retrieved Oct 29, 2014.
- "Co-Manager Careers: Hobby Lobby". Hobby Lobby. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. Retrieved 3 July 2014.
- "Hobby Lobby's history". The Oklahoman. 23 October 2003.
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- "Hobby Lobby will open 42,000 square feet store". Southeast Missourian.
- Denton, Jon (27 August 1995). "Ever-Growing Hobby Lobby Becomes Model Success Story]". The Oklahoman.
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- Lee, Katherine (28 March 2002). "Hobby Lobby, arts and crafts store, to open in Tuscaloosa in mid-April". Tuscaloosa News.
- "Our Company". Hobby Lobby.
- "Hobby Lobby Frequently Asked Questions". Hobby Lobby. Retrieved 2007-01-04.
- "Store Music". Hobby Lobby. Retrieved 2012-12-02.
- "Hobby Lobby Plan To Defy Obamacare". Huffington Post. December 28, 2012.
- Olafson, Steve (September 13, 2012). "Hobby Lobby Sues U.S. Government Over Health Care Mandate". Chicago Tribune.
- Talley, Tim (September 12, 2012). "Hobby Lobby sues over morning-after pill coverage". Bloomberg Businessweek.
- 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.
- "Hobby Lobby Has Its Day in Court; Argues Case for Religious Freedom". Christianpost.com. 2013-05-24. Retrieved 2013-10-08.
- "Supreme Court denies Hobby Lobby request for reprieve from health care mandate". Fox News. 2012-12-26. Retrieved 2013-10-08.
- Stempel, Jonathan (July 19, 2013). "Hobby Lobby wins a stay against birth control mandate". Reuters.com. Retrieved 2013-10-08.
- "Press release - Amicus brief to Supreme Court". Center For Inquiry. January 28, 2014. Retrieved February 6, 2014.
- "Oral Arguments: Argument transcripts" (PDF). SupremeCourt.gov.
- Redden, Molly (April 1, 2014). "Hobby Lobby's Hypocrisy: The Company's Retirement Plan Invests in Contraception Manufacturers". Mother Jones.
- Bravin, Jess (July 1, 2014). "Supreme Court Exempts Some Companies From Health Care Law On Religious Grounds". The Wall Street Journal. pp. A1, A6.
- "Supreme Court Rules Against Obamacare". Reason.com. June 30, 2014.
- Hafiz, Yasmine (October 2, 2013). "Hobby Lobby Boycotts Jewish Hanukkah And Passover - Huffington Post - October 2, 2013". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2013-10-08.
- Kate Taylor (2013-09-30). "Hobby Lobby Backtracks After Reportedly Refusing to Stock Jewish Holiday Goods". Entrepreneur.com. Retrieved 2013-10-09.
- Palmer, Jennifer (2013-10-04). "Hobby Lobby's President Steve Green responds to blogger's anti-Semitism claim". News OK. Retrieved 2013-10-09.