Hobby Lobby operates more than 900 stores nationwide, proving their impressive growth since opening a single 300-square-foot store in 1972 (via hobby hall). Like all other brick and mortar businesses, they experienced a sharp drop in foot traffic in April 2020 when no one was allowed to leave their homes. However, they potentially had an unusual advantage over their competitors: they refused to close.
The company founder reportedly says a message from God drove his decision to keep stores open (via Business Intern). Although they were eventually forced to close by state law, their foot traffic spiked sharply when they physically reopened in July and even before that thanks to online orders (via Colorado Politics). Perhaps most impressive is their holiday traffic, according to SafeGraph: Jo-Ann and Michaels can steadily see sales increase in December, but Hobby Lobby has seen more, with over 150,000 more visits than Michaels in December 2021 .
Why is Hobby Lobby so popular? One reason could be the way they treat their employees. Since 2009, Hobby Lobby has increased its wages more than a dozen times, with its full-time minimum hourly wage set at $18.50 at the start of this year (via OMCK). Hobby Lobby also stocks a wide variety of home decor items and sells fabric supplies in all of its stores — an advantage over Michaels (via American News). They are certainly not without controversy, and their openly Christian tenets have led to many missteps among Christians and non-Christians alike. However, Hobby Lobby might go on to be America’s king of crafting stories.