Amid the frightening scare of the deadly coronavirus pandemic, Hobby Lobby just gave us another reason, if not the most important reason, to boycott their business forever!
You might be asking, who or what is Hobby Lobby?
Hobby Lobby Facts:
- They are the largest privately-owned arts and crafts retail store in America
- One of the most highly visible Christian companies in America
- Founded by current CEO, David Green
- David Green’s net worth in November 2019 was $7.8 billion dollars
- Ranked as 70th wealthiest person in the United States as of October 2019
- Consists of over 900 stores across the United States
- More than 43,000 employees
- First opened on August 3, 1972, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
- Earnings in 2018 of $4.6 billion dollars
- Steve Green, son of David Green, is its current President
Hobby Lobby’s actions in the last 7 days have shown us as consumers that we need to take our business elsewhere!
#1 Reason to Permanently Boycott Hobby Lobby
By this time, most everyone in the world has either been directly or indirectly affected by the coronavirus or has at least heard about it in the news or elsewhere. In the United States and across the world, leaders of cities, states, and countries have issued some sort of “stay in place” order.
With the growing concern of this deadly virus, we now know that we need to shelter in place in order to further prevent the spread of this highly contagious virus. Unfortunately, that has resulted in the temporary closure of hundreds of thousands of companies and businesses. While financial burdens loom, there remains a general consensus that our health and safety is more important.
Or is it?
On March 19, 2020, Hobby Lobby Founder and CEO penned a letter to all employees saying in part, “While we do not know for certain what the future holds, or how long this disruption will last, we can all rest in knowing that God is in control.” Further, he wrote, “The Lord put on Barbara’s heart (wife of David Green) three profound words to remind us that He’s in control” … and “We serve a God who will guide us through this storm.”
And with this letter and its so-called vision from God, David and Steve Green chose to keep all 900+ stores open for business despite the coronavirus pandemic. Even in states where orders were given for non-essential businesses to close, their stores have remained open. With this single decision, they chose profit over the safety and health of their employees and customers.
It is this decision that has infuriated so many people, including this author. Let’s not forget that in a 2019 interview with Fox Business, the company’s president stated,
“We value family, and one of the things that we tell our co-managers as we kind of get them up to speed is that their family is more important than this business, and they need to be sure to take care of their family first and then Hobby Lobby second.”
This interview addressed the reason why Hobby Lobby chooses to remain closed on Thanksgiving Day. Green continues with, “Our success is the fact that we do have our priorities right as best as we can.” Green points to his belief in the Bible as to why his business has done so well through all economic climates.
Recently, retail analyst, Neil Saunders, wrote in a tweet:
“Hobby Lobby, closed Sundays to allow employees time for family and worship. Open during a pandemic because our morals aren’t really all that great.”
But, it doesn’t stop here. When word spread of his wife’s so-called vision from God, Hobby Lobby was met with worldwide hate and loathing via social media. Only because of the public’s outpouring of concern and support for Hobby Lobby’s employees did they eventually changed their minds.
Or did they?
On March 28th, a full week later, Hobby Lobby declares it’s temporarily closing its doors due to concerns over the coronavirus. Many news headlines read,
“Hobby Lobby is mired in controversy over a letter purporting to claim that God would protect employees from the coronavirus.”
They didn’t close their stores to protect their employees. They closed their stores because they are getting raked over the coals.
And then, after already making one bad decision after another, they announced a series of employee terminations – permanently. Employees were notified by email that their employment was terminated. They were not offered any severance, buy-in options to continue health insurance, nor paid sick leave.
The email by Vice President Darsee Lett stated in part, “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.”
There are still “101 more reasons to boycott Hobby Lobby” (an article for another day), but this is, by far, the most irreprehensible and outrageous action by a single business during this crisis.
How can a company purported to be based upon Christian values, seemingly supportive of families and faith, treat their employees in this manner? How could they so blatantly disregard the safety and well being of the public as well?
I implore you to join me:
But, don’t just take my word for it, go to any social media account and enter this tag and you will read thousands of comments that implore the same action!
©2020 Ajae Corbett