Here’s How A Craft Store Should Handle Customers Who Seek Hanukkah Merchandise

Julie has followed the recent tsuris over Hobby Lobby’s new store in New Jersey and its lack of merchandise related to Hanukkah or other Jewish holidays. She had a similar dispute with competing big-box craft store Michaels, but resolved it in a different way. Instead of taking to the Internet, she wrote to the company president. The response was not what she had expected.

A couple of years ago I was surprised to see that the enormous Michael’s near me — in Los Angeles — had zero Chanukah crafts/decorations/supplies/etc. I figured they must be there (that store is enormous) and I just wasn’t seeing them. So I asked a couple of clerks, both of whom just sorta shrugged and said that yeah, they didn’t have anything.

Did I mention this was in Los Angeles? They don’t call it Jewy Jewtown for nothing. We’re here. There are a lot of us. We want Chanukah crafts and decorations!

Anyway, I went next door to Target and found plenty of stuff.

And then I sat down and wrote a letter to the president of Michael’s, stating my disappointment. A few weeks later, I got a phone call from a senior VP. He apologized. He told me that they did indeed stock Chanukah items, and that they were actually not pleased with how poorly they’d sold that season. He surmised that the store I visited needed better stocking and better employee training, and told me they’d get on it. He even gave me a gift card for a future purchase.

I couldn’t ask for anything more – an acknowledgement, an apology and an incentive to continue shopping at Michael’s. They kept my business. Sounds like Hobby Lobby will have a harder time of it.

It will be interesting to see how people react to Hobby Lobby’s announcement that they will carry merchandise for Jewish holidays once that merchandise actually hits stores. The response that Julie got from Michaels management was fantastic: they explained the problem and why it was, and made her feel that both her feedback and her business are valued.

Is Hobby Lobby Deliberately Excluding Jewish Merchandise?
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