Hobby Lobby, a chain of craft and home decor chains, is infamous on this site for two things: being the first retailer to put out Christmas merchandise every year, and for taking advantage of that fact by making glorious “Nightmare Before Christmas” trees, or Christmas trees covered with beautiful fall leaves and acorns. That’s why we’re disappointed in them: if they’re going to get Christmas decorations out in May, why not double-celebrate other holidays too? [More]
In the Recall Roundup for January, defective candles risk burning people and property, a coffeemaker sprays hot water somewhere other than the coffee grounds, and flammable and drawstring-laden children’s clothes made it to stores despite bans on both. Oh, and a toy monkey melts its own battery compartment. [More]
In every common-sense, everyday way, a corporation is not a person. Corporations don’t date, don’t have families, don’t go catch a movie on Friday night. They also don’t go to jail when they do something criminal. But in the eyes of the law, corporations enjoy many of the same rights — including free speech and religious expression — and protections afforded to individuals.
We complain about holiday mashups and Holiday Creep, but we secretly love “Nightmare Before Christmas” displays, where retail necessity meets art, and cool holiday mashups ensue. Hobby Lobby puts out their Christmas merchandise early, even by craft store standards, and we have gradually grown to enjoy these Halloween trees, even as it’s fundamentally wrong to celebrate the coming of autumn with evergreens. [More]
Last week, Senator Patty Murray of Washington introduced legislation that would have undone the recent Supreme Court Hobby Lobby ruling, in which the nation’s highest court found that closely held private corporations can exempt themselves from a federal law requiring them to provide health insurance that covers female contraception. Yesterday, the bill fell four votes short of moving forward, but it’s supporters are pledging to bring it up for another vote later in the year. [More]
In response to the recent Supreme Court decision that gave Hobby Lobby and other closely held private companies the ability to get around the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive mandate by claiming a religious objection, a group of lawmakers are set to introduce legislation that would override that decision. [More]
This morning, the Supreme Court issued its ruling on one of the most-watched cases of the season, Burwell v. Hobby Lobby. The issue was employer-provided healthcare, and what companies are required to provide under the Affordable Care Act. But the broader issues brought up by the ruling have implications beyond one craft store’s benefits package.
When a store runs the same promotion for 52 consecutive weeks, it’s really not a sale. It’s actually a type of deceptive advertising and that’s something the New York Attorney Generals’ office just isn’t going to stand for. [More]
The last time we noted the first display of Christmas decorations at Hobby Lobby was in 2010, when they first put out the decorative items in mid-June. That’s only about six months before the holiday, though: clearly they’ve been missing out on some sales. That’s why this year, the Christmas decorations are out before the end of May. [More]
The U.S. Supreme Court is hearing arguments today in a case that could have a far-reaching impact on businesses whose owners’ religious beliefs may run counter to the medical needs of their employees, as craft store chain Hobby Lobby and a Pennsylvania cabinet-making business each challenge the Affordable Care Act’s mandate that employers provide health insurance that includes coverage for contraception. [More]
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. [More]
In a statement released late on Friday afternoon, Hobby Lobby put out what it probably hopes is the last update in the controversy over the Oklahoma-based chain’s lack of Jewish holiday items on its shelves. What started as one customer’s simple search for a bar mitzvah card has become a pre-holiday public relations nightmare for the craft retailer. [More]
Hobby Lobby doesn’t really try to hide that their owners are very devout Christians. If the instrumental hymns on the store’s sound system didn’t clue you in, maybe the evangelical Easter newspaper ads, the company’s legal fight over health insurance reform, or stores being closed on Sunday would be a hint. But does that translate to deliberately excluding merchandise and holiday decorations for other religions? [More]
A Texas woman might be a little absentminded or beginning to suffer from dementia, but says that she didn’t mean to walk out of a craft store with a handful of embroidered iron-on letters. Unfortunately, she was shopping at Hobby Lobby, a chain whose management takes loss prevention almost as seriously as their Christian faith. The store wants the customer and her daughter to pay more than $1,000 in fines and civil penalties for the theft. [More]
Paul Michael at Wise Bread thought that he had found a great deal on throw pillows at his local Hobby Lobby store. Signs advertised ninety percent off! Imagine that, a $50 fancy throw pillow for only five bucks! It was only when he looked closer that he noticed that the “original” prices were surprisingly high for mass-produced pillows: about $90 to $120. Research online showed similar pillows from the same company for sale for around half that. Just what was going on here?
A Hobby Lobby employee asked Joe to leave his Maxpedition Versipack–I was going to call it a man purse, but it’s so aggressively utilitarian that I think it gets a pass–at the front counter before he shopped in the store. That’s unfriendly but not that weird, considering the loss-prevention strategies some stores use. However, they let his wife continue with the exact same bag attached to her hip, I guess because women can’t steal.
Michael says the first bullet point on the Return Policy plaque at his local Hobby Lobby (and also online) reads, “If for any reason you need to return merchandise purchased at Hobby Lobby, please return the product with the original sales receipt within 60 days of purchase.” That sounds great–you can shop with confidence that they’ll handle returns without too much trouble–but the reality is that the store can and will refuse any return, with or without a receipt, if someone there thinks it might lose them money in the short term.