Hobby Lobby officially closed down all of its locations on Friday due to the coronavirus pandemic, and customers are still in shock over the whole saga. The craft store chain made waves last month when it refused to close its doors, saying that it qualified as an "essential business." When it finally shut down, many people were equally disturbed by the treatment its employees got.
Hobby Lobby shut down all of its stores across the country on Friday after days of fighting to stay open, sometimes even incurring police intervention. The chain has now furloughed most of its employees, keeping on just a few for administrative functions and warehouse work. Even now, however, the company insists that it offers "essential products."
"We know our customers relied on us to provide essential products, including materials to make personal protective equipment, such as face masks, educational supplies for the countless parents who are now educating their children from home, and the thousands of small arts and crafts businesses who rely on us for supplies to make their products," the company's announcement read.
Many customers were upset with Hobby Lobby after the announcement came out, feeling that the company's actions had created a worst-case scenario for workers, who had to keep going in well into the rest of the country's quarantine, and are now out of work. Others felt that the company's usefulness had just been proven, since the CDC changed its recommendation on face coverings and masks on Friday.
Here is what social media is saying in the wake of Hobby Lobby's closure.
Hope there's a fine coming with this.— AngePurs (@angepurs) April 3, 2020
The greedy, God-smacked CEO of Hobby Lobby opened stores in defiance of a lockdown order. Fines and arrest seem in order now.— Covid-19 Made Me a Writer-in-Residence (@JMcNChicago) April 2, 2020
Many Twitter users wondered what kinds of legal consequences could be brought against Hobby Lobby for staying open so late, then laying off employees without severance. Some wanted to see the company fined, while others called for its executives to be tried for criminal negligence against its employees.prevnext
Hobby Lobby just closed all its stores, and basically gave its workers no nothing. Damn. pic.twitter.com/p7sOXHcHHX— City Skeptic (@INTAtheist) April 2, 2020
For many people, the tragedy of the Hobby Lobby quarantine saga was for the employees, who were caught between a rock and a hard place. Many expressed their sympathy for workers who were furloughed late, after they may have already been exposed to the virus, and for those who were laid off without warning.prevnext
Meanwhile, some people pointed out that the founder of Hobby Lobby, David Green and his family, are billionaires, and wondered why they are not doing more for their employees through this crisis. Their personal fortunes are enough to do a lot of good for the retail employees who suddenly find themselves short on options.prevnext
Hobby Lobby has always been trash. One of my exes worked there and was on her way to becoming a manager when they randomly demoted and then later fired her after finding out she was engaged to marry a woman.— 𝒮𝓉𝒶𝓇 𝒾𝓈 𝓉𝓇𝓎𝒾𝓃𝑔 ✨🌸 (@SoulWinchester_) April 2, 2020
Fucking garbage company 🤷🏻♀️ https://t.co/XHrd8qBTIO
With this big story making the rounds, some people shared their own personal experiences with Hobby Lobby, or those of friends. Many referenced the company's strong evangelical Christian ties, accusing the company of homophobia or religious bias.prevnext
Weed and booze stores are essential in Colorado, but Hobby Lobby, which sells many products useful for homeschooling all the kids in lockdown, is not. https://t.co/VbaXsoc5dH— Michelle Malkin (@michellemalkin) April 2, 2020
On the other hand, some people argued that Hobby Lobby's supplies really were "essential" considering that so many parents are trying to hastily learn to homeschool their children. They compared Hobby Lobby with other industries that have been deemed "essential," such as liquor stores.prevnext
They should close and use the time to smuggle more stolen artifacts 😁— Tim Bryant (@TimBrya90563671) April 3, 2020
Meanwhile, users referenced some of the other controversies surround Hobby Lobby and the Green Family, including the Museum of the Bible, which was allegedly involved in schemes to smuggle stolen biblical artifacts into the country. The Greens have also strongly opposed any forms of healthcare for employees that clash with their religious beliefs, from access to abortions to simple contraceptives.prevnext
For anyone that wants to make their own face masks. This is the Hobby Lobby pattern that’s on youtube. I don’t have a sewing machine and I was able to hand sew . Using Harbor Freight blue shop towels as filters. #COVID19 I’m not good at sewing, fits great and I’m happy with it. pic.twitter.com/f4WDUWpWhw— Gail (@BirdAndGarden) April 4, 2020
Finally, Some users pointed out the ill-timing of Hobby Lobby's closure — right after the CDC recommended that everyone wear cloth face masks when they go out in public. They admitted that now would be a good time to have access to sewing supplies. Thankfully, the Surgeon General has demonstrated a technique for making a simple mask without sewing.
For the latest information on the COVID-19 pandemic, visit the CDC's website.prev