On Tuesday, Hobby Lobby made a tentative return to Twitter with a post about which of its locations are open. The craft supply retailer caused a stir in March for trying to remain open throughout the pandemic despite orders for nonessential businesses to close. Now, many shoppers are not eager to return to Hobby Lobby.
Hobby Lobby tweeted a simple message on Tuesday: "Check to see if your local Hobby Lobby is now open. We look forward to seeing you again!" The post was accompanied by a link to the chain's "store finder" page on its website, where customers can put in their address and find the closest Hobby Lobby store near them. However, after Hobby Lobby's controversial actions in the early phase of the coronavirus pandemic, many customers were not eager to go back. Some vowed never to shop there again.
Hobby Lobby first came under fire in March for trying to ignore the coronavirus altogether and remain open. The chain eventually made an argument that it was "essential," which many people — and public officials — disagreed with. Finally, in early April, Hobby Lobby closed its doors at most locations.
"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 said in a statement. "Over the past several weeks, we implemented several best practices to provide a safer shopping environment, including the installation of physical barriers between customers and cashiers, enhanced cleaning, and the enforcement of social distancing measures. We are prepared to reopen our stores in a responsible way when the current situation improves, and look forward to welcoming our valued customers back to our stores. Until then, we pray for those affected by the virus, protection for the health care professionals caring for the sick, economic security for all impacted businesses and employees, and wisdom for our leaders."
While most Hobby Lobby locations are still listed as "temporarily closed," the company was clearly trying to draw shoppers' attention on Tuesday with the store finder app, which shows if a particular location is currently open for business. Judging by Twitter's collective response, many people will not be shopping there regardless.
No Need to Reopen
God will protect you from the shut down you don’t need to reopen.— Monica V (@MonicaV76745028) May 5, 2020
Fuck hobby lobby!— veronica hernandez (@vnh8621) May 5, 2020
Orlando is really open lol just drive by a hobby lobby and forever 21 and they were PACKED— SGG (@sg_hire) May 5, 2020
How is Monroe, La store open but not other HL stores around Louisiana?— wendy gintz (@wgintz70) May 5, 2020
Nope, not in Ky. Not till close to the end of the month— Tracy (@Tracy48760154) May 5, 2020
Hobby Lobby back open and I’m itchin to go spend my money in there 😭— nothingbutNette (@Nette_1922) May 5, 2020
Hobby Lobby has been very busy in Texas. If they all would stay in there, that would be good.— Resistance Jedi (@imjedi) May 5, 2020