Hobby Lobby Shoppers Threaten to Boycott Over Pulled Holiday Merchandise
The retailer isn't selling any Hanukkah products, sparking outrage online.
With Thanksgiving rapidly approaching, it's time to start breaking out the holiday decorations—or perhaps shopping for festive new finds. One spot that you can typically head to for seasonal decor is Hobby Lobby, which also offers competitive prices. But now, the retailer is facing some major criticism, with angry shoppers demanding to know why Hobby Lobby seems to have pulled some holiday merchandise completely. Read on to find out why customers are threatening to boycott.
The arts and crafts retailer pulled Hanukkah products.
In a new fact-check article from Snopes, the website confirmed that Hobby Lobby discontinued Hanukkah merchandise, as well as its Mardi Gras and Halloween product lines.
"The decision on what to offer our customers are based on many factors, including customer interest and what sells well," a statement read to Snopes by a Hobby Lobby corporate customer service employee reads.
The statement continues, "Our seasonal merchandise assortment carried at Hobby Lobby is constantly changing, and they evaluate it annually. Due to the need to find additional space for some of our stronger categories as well as our newer ones, the decision was made over the last couple of years to discontinue several seasonal product lines, including Mardi Gras, Halloween and Hanukkah."
Some shoppers aren't planning to visit Hobby Lobby at all.
While these products were apparently discontinued before last year's holiday season, shoppers took note this year—and called for a boycott.
"Hobby Lobby has stopped selling any Hanukkah items," a Facebook post from earlier this week reads. "Not only boycott them but flood them with emails and messages what you think of them. And very often share to your followers and friends."
Another shopper attached a copy of the response she was given from Hobby Lobby about the decision to "refresh some of our core seasonal merchandise," which was similar to the statement provided to Snopes. On Facebook, the poster captioned the screenshot: "Bye bye Hobby Lobby!! You will never get another dollar from me!"
On X, yet another former customer wrote, "I was already boycotting Hobby Lobby but here is another reason to do so if you haven't." Other social media users also have alleged that Hobby Lobby is antisemitic.
Best Life reached out to Hobby Lobby for comment on the policy and calls for a boycott, and will update the story with its response.
Hobby Lobby has faced similar criticism in the past.
On its website, the arts and crafts retailer writes that it is committed to "honoring the Lord in all we do by operating the company in a manner consistent with Biblical principles," and identifies itself as a "Christian Company." This isn't the first time these principles have landed Hobby Lobby in hot water.
In 2013, the company came under fire following reports that it refused to stock Hanukkah goods. At the time, a shopper at a Hobby Lobby in Marlboro, New Jersey, noticed a lack of Hanukkah merchandise—and upon approaching an associate, they were reportedly told, "We don't cater to your people," NBC News reported.
The story was first reported in a blog post by Marlboro resident Ken Berwitz, who added that he then called the store and was informed that the reason for the lack of Hanukkah merchandise was related to the religious beliefs of Hobby Lobby founder David Green.
"Because Mr. Green is the owner of the company, he's a Christian, and those are his values," Berwitz alleged he was told.
The company previously issued an apology and said it would sell Jewish holiday items at select stores.
In light of the controversy, Hobby Lobby told Entrepreneur.com that it was "working with our buyers over our merchandise selection" and was investigating the "alleged comments" made by the Marlboro store employee.
As Snopes reported, Hobby Lobby's president Steve Green also issued a public apology that was posted by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), noting that "comments like these do not reflect the feelings of our family or Hobby Lobby," and adding that the Green family "has a deep respect for the Jewish faith and those who hold its traditions dear."
The ADL ended up accepting Green's apology on Oct. 4, 2013, and that same day, Hobby Lobby let shoppers know via Facebook that "due to overwhelming demand in the Northeast," it would be selling "Jewish holiday items in a number of stores to test the market in New York and New Jersey."