OKLAHOMA CITY, Feb. 5, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., the family-owned arts and crafts leader, announced today that it will open 70 new stores this year across the United States, bringing the number of retail locations nationwide to 626. As part of this expansion, Hobby Lobby will open its first stores in Oregon and Vermont.
The expansion comes amid inaccurate rumors circulating through social media that the company would be closing stores. Hobby Lobby, owned by its founders, David and Barbara Green, and operated according to the family's deeply held religious convictions, has objected to providing certain contraceptive drugs and devices mandated by the Affordable Care Act despite possible government-induced fines, a decision that may be driving the incorrect rumors.
Three years ago, the federal government mandated that the Greens provide four potentially life-terminating drugs and devices through their employee health plan. While the Green family has no objection to providing 16 of the 20 FDA-approved contraceptive methods, the family objects to four potentially life-terminating drugs and devices that conflict with their religious beliefs. The U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to hear the case in March and make a decision by June 2014.
"The Green family is confident that their religious freedom will be protected, and that they will continue to operate Hobby Lobby according to their faith," said Peter Dobelbower, General Counsel and Vice President for Hobby Lobby. "The Greens recognized that they were being forced to either violate their religious beliefs or violate the law. That's a choice no American should have to make. A federal court has already reached the same conclusion, and we look forward to continued protection for the Greens' religious freedom."
Hobby Lobby emphasized that the company values its customers, 16,000 full-time employees and 12,000 part-time employees. The company offers customers exceptional selection and value in the crafts and home decor market. They serve their employees and their families by establishing a work environment and company policies that build character, strengthen individuals and nurture families. All full-time Hobby Lobby hourly employees start at no less than $14.00 an hour, nearly twice as much as the federal minimum wage. In addition to providing a generous health insurance plan to its full-time employees, the retail stores are not open on Sunday and close at 8 p.m. to provide employees with work-life balance.
Hobby Lobby is represented by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, and a full list of amicus filers and their briefs can be found at http://www.becketfund.org/hobbylobbyamicus/.
For more information and updates, please visit www.hobbylobbycase.com.
To view a video of the Green family discussing this case, please visit http://youtu.be/empZxxB19nU.
SOURCE Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.