Hobby Lobby

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Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.
FoundedAugust 3, 1972; 47 years ago (1972-08-03) (as Hobby Lobby Creative Centers)
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, U.S.
FounderDavid Green
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Number of locations
822 stores (2018)
Key people
  • David Green (CEO)
  • Steve Green (President)
  • Jon Cargill (CFO)
ProductsArts and crafts supplies
RevenueIncreaseUS$ 4.6 billion (2018)[1]
Number of employees
32,000 (2018)[1]

Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., formerly called Hobby Lobby Creative Centers, is a private for-profit corporation which owns a chain of American arts and crafts stores that are managed by corporate employees.[2] The company is based in Oklahoma City.


David Green opened the first Hobby Lobby store, in a 300-square-foot (28 m2) space in northwest Oklahoma City, in 1972.[3] Retail sales were $3,200 from August to the end of the year.[4] He moved to a larger 1,000 square foot space in January 1973. Green left his supervisor position with variety store TG&Y to open a second Hobby Lobby in Oklahoma City in 1975, and a store opened in Tulsa, Oklahoma the next year.[3] It grew to seven stores by mid 1982,[4] and the first store outside Oklahoma opened in 1984.[3]

By the start of 1989, the chain had about 15 stores. By late 1992, it had grown to 50 locations in seven U.S. states,[5] and its growth continued to accelerate. Its 100th store opened in August 1995,[6] and its 200th in August 1999.[7] By March 2002, that number had grown to 281 stores in 24 states,[8] and 310 by October 2003.[3]

As of April 2018, the chain has more than 800 stores nationwide with the headquarters building in a 9,200,000[9]-square-foot (850,000 m2) manufacturing, distribution, and office complex.[10]

Opposition to Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act[edit]

David Green[citation needed] took 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, claimed by his companies to be an abortifacient.[11]

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".[12][13] 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.[14] The U.S. Supreme Court rejected the company's application for an injunction, prompting the firm to sue the federal government.[15][16] On July 19, 2013, US District Judge Joe Heaton granted the company a temporary exemption from the contraceptive-providing mandate.[17]

In contrast, on January 28, 2014, the Center for Inquiry filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court[18] 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, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof...".

Oral arguments in the case, then known as Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby, were heard on March 25, 2014.[19]

U.S. Supreme Court decision[edit]

On June 30, 2014, the U.S. 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 to the United States Constitution.[20][21]

Business practices[edit]

Hobby Lobby stores and facilities are open for business every day with the exception of Sunday to allow employees to have more time to spend for worship, rest, and family.[22] A statement on the company's website says, "This has not been an easy decision for Hobby Lobby because we realize that this decision may cost us financially. Yet we also realize that there are things more important than profits. This is a matter of principle for our company owner and officers."[22]

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".[22]


Non-stocking of items relating to Jewish holidays[edit]

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.[23][24] 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.[25]

Smuggling scandal[edit]

Starting in 2009 representatives of Hobby Lobby organized archaeological looting in Iraq and Caesarea to present smuggled artifacts to the Museum of the Bible. In 2017 the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York directed Hobby Lobby to return the artifacts and pay a fine of US$3,000,000. Hobby Lobby returned the items in May 2018.[26][27]


  1. ^ a b "Hobby Lobby Stores". Forbes.com LLC. 2018. Retrieved September 3, 2019.
  2. ^ "Co-Manager Careers: Hobby Lobby". Hobby Lobby. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. Retrieved 3 July 2014.
  3. ^ a b c d "Hobby Lobby's history". The Oklahoman. 23 October 2003.
  4. ^ a b Miller, Linda (25 July 1982). "New Growth Seen For Hobby Lobby". The Oklahoman.
  5. ^ "Hobby Lobby will open 42,000 square feet store". Southeast Missourian.
  6. ^ Denton, Jon (27 August 1995). "Ever-Growing Hobby Lobby Becomes Model Success Story". The Oklahoman.
  7. ^ "Hobby Lobby opens 200th store Monday". Times Daily. 8 August 1999.
  8. ^ Lee, Katherine (28 March 2002). "Hobby Lobby, arts and crafts store, to open in Tuscaloosa in mid-April". Tuscaloosa News.
  9. ^ "Our Story". hobbylobby.com. Retrieved 2019-09-24.
  10. ^ "Our Company". Hobby Lobby.
  11. ^ "Hobby Lobby Plan To Defy Obamacare". Huffington Post. December 28, 2012. Archived from the original on 2015-09-24. Retrieved 2019-07-13.
  12. ^ Olafson, Steve (September 13, 2012). "Hobby Lobby Sues U.S. Government Over Health Care Mandate". Chicago Tribune.
  13. ^ Talley, Tim (September 12, 2012). "Hobby Lobby sues over morning-after pill coverage". Bloomberg Businessweek.
  14. ^ 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.
  15. ^ "Hobby Lobby Has Its Day in Court; Argues Case for Religious Freedom". The Christian Post. Christianpost.com. 2013-05-24. Retrieved 2013-10-08.
  16. ^ "Supreme Court denies Hobby Lobby request for reprieve from health care mandate". Fox News. Fox News. 2012-12-26. Retrieved 2013-10-08.
  17. ^ Stempel, Jonathan (July 19, 2013). "Hobby Lobby wins a stay against birth control mandate". Reuters. Reuters.com. Retrieved 2013-10-08.
  18. ^ "Press release - Amicus brief to Supreme Court". Center For Inquiry. Center For Inquiry. January 28, 2014. Retrieved February 6, 2014.
  19. ^ "Oral Arguments: Argument transcripts" (PDF). SupremeCourt.gov.
  20. ^ Bravin, Jess (July 1, 2014). "Supreme Court Exempts Some Companies From Health Care Law On Religious Grounds". The Wall Street Journal. pp. A1, A6.
  21. ^ "Supreme Court Rules Against Obamacare". Reason.com. June 30, 2014.
  22. ^ a b c "Hobby Lobby Frequently Asked Questions". Hobby Lobby. Hobby Lobby. Archived from the original on April 17, 2015. Retrieved 2007-01-04.
  23. ^ Hafiz, Yasmine (October 2, 2013). "Hobby Lobby Boycotts Jewish Hanukkah And Passover - Huffington Post - October 2, 2013". Huffington Post. Huffington Post. Retrieved 2013-10-08.
  24. ^ Kate Taylor (2013-09-30). "Hobby Lobby Backtracks After Reportedly Refusing to Stock Jewish Holiday Goods". Entrepreneur. Entrepreneur.com. Retrieved 2013-10-09.
  25. ^ Palmer, Jennifer (2013-10-04). "Hobby Lobby's President Steve Green responds to blogger's anti-Semitism claim". The Oklahoman. News OK. Retrieved 2013-10-09.
  26. ^ Connor, Tracy; Arkin, Daniel (July 6, 2017). "Spotlight on Hobby Lobby's Biblical Collection After Smuggle Case". NBC News. Retrieved May 30, 2019.
  27. ^ "ICE returns thousands of ancient artifacts seized from Hobby Lobby to Iraq". U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. February 5, 2018. Retrieved May 30, 2019.

External links[edit]