Hobby Lobby Refuses to Sell Jewish Holiday Items, Cater to Jewish Customers-Outdated!
Summary of eRumor:
A viral meme claims that Hobby Lobby refuses to sell Jewish holiday items and refuses to cater to Jewish customers.
Reports from 2013 that Hobby Lobby refuses to sell Jewish holiday items and refuses to cater to Jewish customers resurfaced in October 2017.
Hobby Lobby, a retail chain that mirrors the conservative Christian views of its owners, came under fire in a September 2013 after New Jersey and blogger Ken Berwitz reported that Hobby Lobby doesn’t sell Hannukah merchandise and that employees were rude to his wife when she inquired about it:
In the past few days two different friends told my wife they had gone into the new hobby lobby store in Marlboro, New Jersey and noticed that, although there already was a lot of Christmas merchandise available, there was none for the Jewish holiday of Chanukah (some people drop the “C” and spell it Hannukah. Same holiday).
One of our friends entered the store, asked where the Chanukah goods were, was told there wouldn’t be any, and asked why. According to her, the answer was:
“We don’t cater to you people.”
That led to a public statement from the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) — and a public apology from Hobby Lobby President Steve Green that was accepted by the ADL:
“We sincerely apologize for any employee comments that may have offended anyone, especially our Jewish customers and friends. Comments like these do not reflect the feelings of our family or Hobby Lobby.
Our family has a deep respect for the Jewish faith and those who hold its traditions dear. We’re proud contributors to Yad Vashem, as well as to other museums and synagogues in Israel and the United States.
We are investigating this matter and absolutely do not tolerate discrimination at our company or our stores. We do not have any policies that discriminate; in fact, we have policies that specifically prohibit discrimination.
We have previously carried merchandise in our stores related to Jewish holidays. We select the items we sell in our stores based on customer demand. We are working with our buyers to re-evaluate our holiday items and what we will carry in the future.”
After the flap, Hobby Lobby announced on Facebook that the store would begin testing the sale of Jewish holiday items in markets in the northeast due to “overwhelming demand.”
It’s not clear how the experiment went, but we found very limited Hanukkah items for sale on the company’s website in October 2017. A rubber Hanukkah stamp and a set of reusable Hanukkah stickers were the only two items listed for sale — but it was off season.