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romalove
Hobby Lobby Not Stocking Hanukkah Decorations....
October 1, 2013 at 6:23 AM

....and it's angering the people in Marlboro, NJ.

http://eastbrunswick.patch.com/groups/business-news/p/hobby-lobby-considering-jewish-holiday-decorations-on-shelves-eastbrunswick?ncid=newsltuspatc00000001&evar4=picks-3-post&newsRef=true

After internet backlash from a local blogger about its Marlboro Township store, Hobby Lobby is evaluating its merchandise.

Over the weekend, Marlboro residents began to discover and circulate a blog post detailing Hobby Lobby's lack of Jewish holiday decorations.

The post, written by Ken Berwitz, author of the political book Hopelessly Partisan, recounts a conversation Bewitz said he had with the craft and home store's corporate office in which the office allegedly answered, "Because Mr. [David] Green is the owner of the company, he's a Christian, and those are his values."

In a brief email to Patch, Hobby Lobby representative Vincent Parker said, "We currently do not carry any Hanukah items in our store. Our customers have brought this to our attention and we are currently evaluating our Holiday items and what we will carry in the future."

Hobby Lobby opened in Marlboro in June, filling the empty Pathmark location on Route 9 North in Marlboro Plaza.

The store is an arts and crafts chain controlled by Green and family in Oklahoma City with 13,000 employees and 525 big-box stores in the United States as of March, 2013. It is the third location to open in New Jersey. The other two stores are in South Plainfield and Millville. 

In his blog post, Berwitz said he believes the lack of Jewish holiday decorations is "anti-Semitic" in an area with a large Jewish population. 

"So let's be clear: these are not Christian values. They are David Green values," Berwitz wrote.

The blog post was also picked up by NJ 101.5 host Ray Rossi. A small majority of listeners voted they would not patronize stores such as Hobby Lobby, Barilla Pasta, or Chick-fil-A when their chairmanโ€™s values are made public, if the views do not reflect their own.

In his own blog post, Rabbi Don Weber of Temple Rodeph Torah said, The same freedom that allows Hobby Lobby to ignore Jewish interests also allows us to ignore Hobby Lobby. OUR freedom includes the right to vote with our feet, and with our money."

Green's company also runs Mardel, a large chain of Christian bookstores. The company is challenging a requirement in President Barack Obama's revised healthcare legislation that some companies must give insurance coverage for contraception drugs and devices.  In December, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor refused to block the mandate. The company was told it could continue its challenge in lower courts. 

On its website, the Hobby Lobby mission includes, "Honoring the Lord in all we do by operating the company in a manner consistent with biblical principles." 

A Lawrenceville Hobby Lobby location is set to open Wednesday, Oct. 11 at 3360 Brunswick Pike. Hobby Lobby also has New Jersey stores in South Plainfield and Millville.

Replies

  • momtoscott
    October 1, 2013 at 6:26 AM

    Have never been in one of their stores, and I never will be.  From a business POV this policy seems egregiously stupid, but at least they are making their view of who matters in America crystal clear.  

  • sweet-a-kins
    October 1, 2013 at 6:27 AM
    The same freedom that allows Hobby Lobby to ignore Jewish interests also allows us to ignore Hobby Lobby. OUR freedom includes the right to vote with our feet, and with our money."




    Exactly

    Many stores don't carry them....
  • romalove
    October 1, 2013 at 6:29 AM


    Quoting momtoscott:

    Have never been in one of their stores, and I never will be.  From a business POV this policy seems egregiously stupid, but at least they are making their view of who matters in America crystal clear.  

    This is a classic case of not knowing your customer before you expand.  Where I live, in my town, we have three Jewish temples, and there is a large Jewish population (Marlboro and Manalapan, both which would also be served by this Hobby Lobby, also have very large Jewish populations).  The town that abuts me has almost no Jews, and when the Acme supermarket came in to town, it came on the border of the two towns, but with the other town's address.  They did not "get" the people here.  They had to rejigger the store and add a kosher deli and Jewish foods sections in order to compete with the other area supermarkets, who all have that.  

    I think telling a customer who is complaining that you aren't serving their needs that you aren't doing it because of the company owner's religion is sheer idiocy.  They weren't even tactful lol.

  • romalove
    October 1, 2013 at 6:30 AM


    Quoting sweet-a-kins:

    The same freedom that allows Hobby Lobby to ignore Jewish interests also allows us to ignore Hobby Lobby. OUR freedom includes the right to vote with our feet, and with our money."




    Exactly

    Many stores don't carry them....

    Many stores don't carry Hanukkah decorations.

    But

    If you go to a place that has a heavy Jewish population and don't serve that population, it's a terrible business decision.

  • Kazoo22
    by Kazoo22
    October 1, 2013 at 6:35 AM

    If they don't want to stock items for Hanukkah it's not that they are being anit-semetic it's that they are choosing not to stock things. If they stock Hannukah items they other religions will complain that they don't stock their items as well. I personally wouldn't have a problem stocking those items, but it just comes down to their opinions. They have made it very clear where they stand on other religions and things that go against their "Christian Values", why is anybody surprised or shocked by this?

  • romalove
    October 1, 2013 at 6:36 AM


    Quoting Kazoo22:

    If they don't want to stock items for Hanukkah it's not that they are being anit-semetic it's that they are choosing not to stock things. If they stock Hannukah items they other religions will complain that they don't stock their items as well. I personally wouldn't have a problem stocking those items, but it just comes down to their opinions. They have made it very clear where they stand on other religions and things that go against their "Christian Values", why is anybody surprised or shocked by this?

    Marlboro is a heavily Jewish area; do you think it's smart to put a store that doesn't cater at all to the demographic in that area?

  • LuLu_Mama35
    October 1, 2013 at 6:38 AM
    I haven't been in a Hobby Lobby, but where I live alot of other stores don't sell them.
  • romalove
    October 1, 2013 at 6:39 AM


    Quoting LuLu_Mama35:

    I haven't been in a Hobby Lobby, but where I live alot of other stores don't sell them.

    My question for you is:  do you live in a heavily Jewish area?

  • sweet-a-kins
    October 1, 2013 at 6:39 AM
    Of course it is

    The religious bigots that run hobby lobby don't care though so hopefully they go out of business

    But many stores don't carry Hanukkah items so I'm not understanding why they chose them to go after.


    Quoting romalove:


    Quoting sweet-a-kins:

    The same freedom that allows Hobby Lobby to ignore Jewish interests also allows us to ignore Hobby Lobby. OUR freedom includes the right to vote with our feet, and with our money."









    Exactly



    Many stores don't carry them....

    Many stores don't carry Hanukkah decorations.

    But

    If you go to a place that has a heavy Jewish population and don't serve that population, it's a terrible business decision.

  • romalove
    October 1, 2013 at 6:43 AM


    Quoting sweet-a-kins:

    Of course it is

    The religious bigots that run hobby lobby don't care though so hopefully they go out of business

    But many stores don't carry Hanukkah items so I'm not understanding why they chose them to go after.


    Quoting romalove:


    Quoting sweet-a-kins:

    The same freedom that allows Hobby Lobby to ignore Jewish interests also allows us to ignore Hobby Lobby. OUR freedom includes the right to vote with our feet, and with our money."









    Exactly



    Many stores don't carry them....

    Many stores don't carry Hanukkah decorations.

    But

    If you go to a place that has a heavy Jewish population and don't serve that population, it's a terrible business decision.

    I think they are newly opened.  They compete with AC Moore, which has a large store on Rte. 9 (really nice one, I like it much better than the one over here) and they asked them about catering to them, and were rebuffed.

    It's never good business to rebuff customers lol.

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