Founded 49 years ago, Hobby Lobby is one of the most successful privately-owned art and craft stores. They earn a revenue of $5 billion annually. The article talks about their mission, values behind the success. Learn more about Hobby Lobby’s mission, vision, and value analysis.
- The mission of the company is bent on customer satisfaction by providing variety and quality products by following Christian beliefs. It also aims to strengthen individuals, build character, and nurture families by providing good policies and work environments to its employees. It promotes creativity. The company stands strong for its mission which is deeply rooted in Christianity. The business runs following biblical principles.
- Its values highlight hard work, passion for creativity, and innovative ideas.
- Speaking about Hobby Lobby’s vision, they want to influence the market with creative and innovative ideas while incorporating Christian values.
- According to Hobby Lobby’s brand vision,
- they want to promote awareness about the thirteen new departments of arts including needlework, jewelry, scrapbooking, seasonal merchandise, floral, wearable art, hobbies, fabric, and greeting cards.
- They want to increase brand tenure by using social networking tools.
- Aim to gain respect as being more than just arts and crafts store in the customer market.
- They want to increase in-store and online shopping revenue by adding value to customer’s loyalty and shopping experience.
In 1970, the story of Hobby Lobby began when the present CEO David Green along with his wife Barbara Green took a loan of $600 and started making miniature picture frames at their home garage. They employed cerebral palsy patients at the start of their business and paid them 10 cents per frame. Green was still employed in TG&Y as a store manager. After two years of struggle in 1972, Hobby Lobby was then established when Greens and his wife were able to buy a 300sq.ft store in northern Oklahoma. Later by 1975, Greens left his job as their business further grew. Thus they bought another plot of 6,000 sq ft at another place. At present Hobby Lobby owns more than 900 stores in 47 states with approximately 43,000 employees worldwide.
The CEO states that his mission and values are deeply influenced by biblical principles. The reason for this may be because Green was born to a Christian Pastor. He along with his five siblings were raised with Christian doctrines. All of his five siblings grew up to become pastors or pastors’ wives. Green makes sure that he donates half of the profit to Christian Evangelists. He even keeps his shops closed on Sundays as per his Christian commitment.
- Over 60,000 products in store
- Knowledgeable staffs
- Lower prices than the competition
- Products from Europe and Asia, items not widely available in the US
- Offers the widest variety of crafting and other unique lifestyle supplies in one location
- The online shopping experience is dim as compared to online competition.
- Items are sometimes difficult to locate in the store
- A large store can be overwhelming
- Lines are long due to lack of barcode scanning technology
- SMS promotion trend
- D.I.Y trend
- Pinterest movement
- A high volume of holiday décor production
- Social media movement
- Online blogs with contests
- Consumers become impatient with the lack of technology to operate store
- The competition offers similar and cheaper products
- Brand’s reach only penetrates the arts and crafts community
- The competition offers the better product variety
- People become uninspired by their own creativity
- Marketing campaign fails to reach consumers
mission through donations to charitable trusts which uphold biblical principles. It also provides a 10% discount to schools, churches, and national charitable organizations. The article further talks about a controversy that Hobby Lobby faced while standing firm for its mission of following religious beliefs.
In 2012 the ACA- Affordable Care Act (a.k.a Obamacare/The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act) was launched. According to this act, employment providers are mandated to provide contraceptive methods under health insurance free of cost to their beneficiaries. Insurance plans had to cover all 14 contraceptive methods approved by the Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for all female employees. However, exceptions for this act are given to non-profit religious organizations, like religiously affiliated hospitals under HHS (Health and Human Services). This act was also mandated on Hobby Lobby as it is a privately held and for-profit organization. Hobby Lobby’s Christian principles did not give way to this act as the act violated its religious freedom. The Christian principles restricted Hobby Lobby to implement this act thus they were bound to be penalized.
If an organization failed to follow the contraception mandate under the act they were penalized $100 daily for each affected employee. If the organization failed to follow the action and did not offer any healthcare plans to its employees as a whole they were charged $2000 per year for each affected employee.
Scaling down the reason for Green’s opposition-
Greens opposed four FDA-approved contraceptive methods which were used for abortions. These methods also included two emergency contraceptives namely Ella and Plan B and two intrauterine devices. When an egg gets fertilized, it gives way to life and settles itself in the uterus. But these contraceptive methods can prevent the fertilized egg to be implanted in the uterus. This directly means that these methods abort the unborn life. Thus the killing of the unborn is counted as a sin. Many interpret bible verses to be against abortion. Alike Greens and his whole family raised this issue against the Health and Human service director Kathleen Sibelius. Standing strong for his mission, Greens argued that the act prohibits him to practice his religion through his business. It forced and burdened Hobby Lobby to provide health insurance even to those employees who use such contraceptive methods which leads to abortion- exactly the opposite of his religious beliefs.
The initial fight-
Greens used the support of RFRA (Religious Freedom Restoration Act). Against this HHS stated that RFRA supports an individual right to freedom of practicing his/her religion but Hobby Lobby being an organization cannot take support of RFRA. As an organization Hobby Lobby consists of many individuals contributing, thus each individual will have the right to follow whichever religion they want to. This appeal greatly conflicted with Hobby Lobby’s plea. At the start, Greens appealed to cease the contraception mandate during the trials but it was denied. Judge Joe Heaton said that Hobby Lobby is not a non-profit organization thus cannot claim the right to religious freedom.
Greens took the plea to the US Court of Appeals in 2012 where he won the majority. In 2013 the Tenth circuit approved Hobby Lobby’s plea and thus the employees were not given health insurance that covered those contraceptives. The US federal government was not satisfied with the decision. The case was then taken to the US Supreme Court. Conestoga Wood Specialties, a for-profit corporation from Pennsylvania also appealed against ACA on similar grounds. By 2014, all of these appeals were taken into consideration and the hearings began. HHS Secretary Kathleen Sibelius resigned and Sylvia Burwell took over the lead. The case now had a new name- Burwell vs Hobby Lobby.
The final decision was taken on 30 June 2014 and Greens won the case with 5 judges deciding in his favor while 4 judges in Burwell’s favor. This happened because the Supreme Court counted a for-profit organization as an individual under RFRA. Even though Hobby Lobby is an organization, it is run by a family, thus Supreme Court found it correct to protect the ‘individuals’ religious beliefs concerning RFRA. The decision was taken on the basis that even though the government had good intentions while mandating ACA as it will benefit women employees who could have free access to all the contraceptive methods approved by FDA but it failed to establish ACA in the most restrictive manner so that organizations like Hobby Lobby will not have to take it as a burden to follow their religion. Greens and his family see the court’s decision not only as a personal victory but a victory for all who want to live and practice their faith freely.
- Does the court’s final decision does not respect woman’s rights?
No, the court was very clear in issuing the RFRA to Hobby Lobby and not depriving women of any rights.
- Does this mean that women employees at Hobby Lobby cannot use contraceptives?
No, instead Hobby Lobby provides health insurance that covers almost all contraceptives along with an on-site clinic which will be free of cost for the employees.
- To some extent, doesn’t it feel that Hobby Lobby is imposing its religious beliefs on all its employees?
The Greens were only against the four contraceptive methods that will now not be included in the health insurance while the employees are completely free to use them if they want to at their own cost. Hobby Lobby does not impose its own beliefs on anyone.