Hobby Lobby

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Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.
Private
Industry Retail
Founded Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, U.S.
(August 1972; 45 years ago (1972-08))
Founder David Green
Number of locations
800 stores (2017)
Key people
  • David Green (CEO)
  • Steve Green (President)
  • Jon Cargill (CFO)
Products Arts and crafts supplies
Revenue IncreaseUS$ 4 billion (2015)[1]
Number of employees
28,000 (2015)[1]
Website www.hobbylobby.com

Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. is a private for-profit, closely held corporation[2] which owns a chain of American arts and crafts stores based in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Formerly called Hobby Lobby Creative Centers, the stores are managed by corporate employees.[3]

History

David Green opened the first Hobby Lobby store, in a 300-square-foot (28 m2) space in northwest Oklahoma City, in 1972.[4] Retail sales were $3,200 from August to the end of the year.[5]He moved to a larger 1,000 square foot space in January 1973.[citation needed] 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.[4] It grew to seven stores by mid 1982,[5] and the first store outside Oklahoma opened in 1984.[4]

By the start of 1989, the chain had about 15 stores. By late 1992, it had grown to 50 locations in seven states,[6] and its growth continued to accelerate. Its 100th store opened in August 1995,[7] and its 200th in August 1999.[8] By March 2002, that number had grown to 281 stores in 24 states,[9] and 310 by October 2003.[4]

As of April 2015, the chain has 600 stores nationwide with the headquarters building in a 3,400,000-square-foot (320,000 m2) manufacturing, distribution, and office complex.[10]

Opposition to Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

David Green 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, which some consider 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".

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

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.[20][21]

Non-stocking of items relating to Jewish holidays

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.[22][23] 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.[24]

Illegal importation of cultural property

In December 2010, Hobby Lobby purchased $1.6 million worth of Iraqi artifacts from dealers in the United Arab Emirates, presumably to be included in the Museum of the Bible—a Washington, D.C. museum being backed by David Green. The company went on with the purchase despite concerns from lawyers over the uncertain origin of the artifacts, and the possibility that they could have been looted. The shipments included tablets inscribed with cuneiform writing, which were misrepresented on declarations as being ceramic and clay tile samples, and contained false designations of origin stating that the objects were from Turkey and Israel. The company became subject to investigation by the U.S. government for these actions.[25][26][27][28][29]

According to a Justice Department press release, "In October 2010, an expert on cultural property law retained by Hobby Lobby warned the company that the acquisition of cultural property likely from Iraq, including cuneiform tablets and cylinder seals, carries a risk that such objects may have been looted from archaeological sites in Iraq. The expert also advised Hobby Lobby to review its collection of antiquities for any objects of Iraqi origin and to verify that their country of origin was properly declared at the time of importation into the United States. The expert warned Hobby Lobby that an improper declaration of country of origin for cultural property could lead to seizure and forfeiture of the artifacts by CBP." [30]

On July 5, 2017, Hobby Lobby consented to a settlement requiring forfeiture of the artifacts and payment of a fine of $3 million.[28][31] Israeli police have arrested five antiquities dealers, in connection with the illegal importation of ancient artifacts by Hobby Lobby. [28][32]

Business practices

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.[33][dead link] 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."[33]

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".[33]

References

  1. ^ a b "Hobby Lobby Stores". Forbes.com LLC. Retrieved Oct 29, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Hobby Lobby Company Profile". 
  3. ^ "Co-Manager Careers: Hobby Lobby". Hobby Lobby. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. Retrieved 3 July 2014. 
  4. ^ a b c d "Hobby Lobby's history". The Oklahoman. 23 October 2003. 
  5. ^ a b Miller, Linda (25 July 1982). "New Growth Seen For Hobby Lobby". The Oklahoman. 
  6. ^ "Hobby Lobby will open 42,000 square feet store". Southeast Missourian. 
  7. ^ Denton, Jon (27 August 1995). "Ever-Growing Hobby Lobby Becomes Model Success Story]". The Oklahoman. 
  8. ^ "Hobby Lobby opens 200th store Monday". Times Daily. 8 August 1999. 
  9. ^ Lee, Katherine (28 March 2002). "Hobby Lobby, arts and crafts store, to open in Tuscaloosa in mid-April". Tuscaloosa News. 
  10. ^ "Our Company". Hobby Lobby. 
  11. ^ "Hobby Lobby Plan To Defy Obamacare". Huffington Post. December 28, 2012. 
  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". Christianpost.com. 2013-05-24. Retrieved 2013-10-08. 
  16. ^ "Supreme Court denies Hobby Lobby request for reprieve from health care mandate". 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.com. Retrieved 2013-10-08. 
  18. ^ "Press release - Amicus brief to Supreme Court". 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. ^ Hafiz, Yasmine (October 2, 2013). "Hobby Lobby Boycotts Jewish Hanukkah And Passover - Huffington Post - October 2, 2013". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2013-10-08. 
  23. ^ Kate Taylor (2013-09-30). "Hobby Lobby Backtracks After Reportedly Refusing to Stock Jewish Holiday Goods". Entrepreneur.com. Retrieved 2013-10-09. 
  24. ^ Palmer, Jennifer (2013-10-04). "Hobby Lobby's President Steve Green responds to blogger's anti-Semitism claim". News OK. Retrieved 2013-10-09. 
  25. ^ "United States Files Civil Action To Forfeit Thousands Of Ancient Iraqi Artifacts Imported By Hobby Lobby". Justice.gov. Retrieved 2017-07-06. 
  26. ^ Baden, Candida Moss|Joel (2017-01-30). "Exclusive: Feds Investigate Hobby Lobby Boss for Illicit Artifacts". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 2017-07-05. 
  27. ^ Pilkington, Ed (2015-10-28). "Hobby Lobby investigated for trying to import ancient artifacts from Iraq". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2017-07-05. 
  28. ^ a b c Feuer, Alan (2017-07-05). "Hobby Lobby Agrees to Forfeit 5,500 Artifacts Smuggled Out of Iraq". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-07-06. 
  29. ^ "Hobby Lobby: Christian firm's artefact smuggling case settled". BBC News. 6 Jul 2017. Retrieved 6 July 2017. 
  30. ^ https://www.justice.gov/usao-edny/pr/united-states-files-civil-action-forfeit-thousands-ancient-iraqi-artifacts-imported%7Caccessdate=2017-08-02}}
  31. ^ http://www.politico.com/story/2017/07/05/hobby-lobby-fine-iraq-240245
  32. ^ http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/usworld/npr-israeli-authorities-arrest-antiquities-dealers-in-connection-with-hobby/article_8fd981ed-681a-5d31-917d-a19ba1796743.html |accessdate=2 Aug 2017|publisher=NPR|date=1 Aug 2017}}
  33. ^ a b c "Hobby Lobby Frequently Asked Questions". Hobby Lobby. Retrieved 2007-01-04. 

External links

  • Official website
  • Voices of Oklahoma interview with David Green. First person interview conducted on October 6, 2009, with David Green, founder of Hobby Lobby.
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