Hobby Lobby is on the defense for an alleged comment by an employee and for not stocking Jewish holiday items. Someone relayed this story in a blog post titled, "Why I Will Never Ever Patronize at Hobby Lobby":
One of our friends entered the store, asked where the Chanukah goods were, was told there wouldn't be any, and asked why. According to her, the answer was:
"We don't cater to you people."
Understandably irate, she called the home office, and was told, indifferently, that hobby lobby doesn't have Chanukah on its list of holidays.
Since I did not hear this ugly exchange with my own ears, I was not personally certain it was the case. And that's not good enough for this blog. So I just called the Marlboro hobby lobby and asked whether it would be stocking any Chanukah merchandise. I was told it would not. When I asked why, the answer - verbatim - was:
"Because Mr. Green is the owner of the company, he's a Christian, and those are his values."
The company's mission is connected to religious beliefs. Here are two references on the "Our Company" page of its website:
At Hobby Lobby, we value our customers and employees and are committed to:
- Honoring the Lord in all we do by operating the company in a manner consistent with biblical principles.
- Offering our customers exceptional selection and value in the crafts and home decor market.
- Serving our employees and their families by establishing a work environment and company policies that build character, strengthen individuals and nurture families.
- Providing a return on the owner's investment, sharing the Lord's blessings with our employees, and investing in our community.
We believe that it is by God's grace and provision that Hobby Lobby has endured. He has been faithful in the past, and we trust Him for our future.
Hobby Lobby responded first in a Facebook post:
Then, Hobby Lobby gave a fuller response in a statement:
We sincerely apologize for any employee comments that may have offended anyone, especially our Jewish customers and friends. Comments like these do not reflect the feelings of our family or Hobby Lobby.
Our family has a deep respect for the Jewish faith and those who hold its traditions dear. We're proud contributors to Yad Vashem, as well as to other museums and synagogues in Israel and the United States.
We are investigating this matter and absolutely do not tolerate discrimination at our company or our stores. We do not have any policies that discriminate; in fact, we have policies that specifically prohibit discrimination.
We have previously carried merchandise in our stores related to Jewish holidays. We select the items we sell in our stores based on customer demand. We are working with our buyers to re-evaluate our holiday items and what we will carry in the future.
- Assess Hobby Lobby's two responses. How do they differ? Which do you find more effective, and why?
- A Hobby Lobby is opening in Ithaca this year (no joke!). If one were opening near you, and you wanted what they sell, would you shop there? Why or why not?