A Hobby Lobby store in New Mexico was recently forced to shut down after defying public health orders. According to KOB 4, a Hobby Lobby in Albuquerque violated the governor's public health order, which led to law enforcement coming in and forcing the store to close. Customers were present at the time and recounted what they saw and heard.
"An announcement came on," one person said. The customer then quoted what they heard. "Attention shoppers, attention shoppers. We regret to inform you that the sheriff's department has decided to close down," the customer recalled hearing. "We need to close down immediately." At this time, the store is still allowed to remain open for curbside services and delivery. KOB 4 noted that the only places allowed to continue in-person services are essential businesses, such as grocery stores.
The Hobby Lobby on Montgomery was open Thursday, a violation of the governor's public health order. Customers said law enforcement eventually forced the business to close. https://t.co/P1Rn2jIVGs— KOB 4 (@KOB4) November 20, 2020
Hobby Lobby has found itself the focus of many headlines over the course of the coronavirus pandemic. The main reason the store has been at the center of the controversy is that it has consistently defined itself as an essential business, though many disagree. In many states, the franchise has been forced to answer why it remained open when ordered to close.
The company previously issued a statement that read: "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."
Hobby Lobby's statement came at the same time that the company began slashing employee salaries, as well as letting some go. Darsee Lett, Vice President of Hobby Lobby's creative arts division, issued a letter to terminated employees not long after the news broke. "It is with a tremendously broken heart that I've been forced to take these unimaginable actions, and I genuinely hope you know that my prayers are with you and your family. It has been such an honor having you on my Team. I truly and deeply appreciate your service to this Department and the Company, and with you, the very best as this calamity hopefully ends in the very near future."