Effective Friday, April 3, at 8 p.m., all Hobby Lobby stores nationwide will be closed until further notice.
All store employees and a large portion of corporate and distribution employees will be furloughed.
A statement released Friday reads, "In order to allow our furloughed employees to take full advantage of the Pandemic Unemployment Compensation and Recovery Rebates provided to eligible employees by the federal government, we are ending emergency leave pay and suspending use of Company provided paid time off benefits (PPTO and Vacation) in accordance with the requirements outlined in the CARES Act (subject to State law requirements). However, we will maintain medical, dental, life, and long-term disability benefits for employees while furloughed through at least May 1, 2020, and will pay the cost of employee premiums for these benefits on behalf of employees while furloughed without pay. We encourage furloughed employees to file their claims with their State's unemployment commissions as soon as possible. Upon return, employees will retain their original dates of hire and any accrued PPTO and Vacation. Our sincere gratitude goes out to our dedicated employees at this difficult time, and we look forward to the day when we can welcome them back, once we are able to reopen."
Store representatives say they realize that customers relied on Hobby Lobby to provide essential products, such as material to make PPE and educational supplies for parents who now are teaching kids at home.
The stores will be reopened when the situation improves.
Hobby Lobby had previously faced criticism in several states for remaining open during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more here.