The new West Boca Hobby Lobby store will open “mid-Fall” according to company spokesman Vincent Parker. We think that means October or November. The store is replacing Beall’s in West Boca Square.
Mr. Parker did not answer our other questions but he did send us standard responses to common questions. Hiring will begin roughly a month before the store opens. The store manager and co-manager will come from other stores, and they expect to hire between 30 and 50 local employees. Pay starts at $9.50/hour for part-timers and $14/hour for full-time employees. They will have in-store classes with teachers who are not employees, with the store manager in charge of making arrangements.
Hobby Lobby describes itself as a leader in the arts and crafts industry, and its biggest competition is probably Michael’s. We have one of those in West Boca, in Somerset Shoppes on the northwest corner of Lyons and Glades.
Dallas News has a good breakdown of the competition. The average Hobby Lobby is 55,000 square feet and this one will be larger at 78,000 square feet. The average Michael’s is 18,000 square feet and our local one is 25,000 square feet. So the new West Boca Hobby Lobby will be three times the size. We spoke to a couple of area housewives who are very happy about this new addition. It’s especially convenient for those who live west of 441.
The company has gotten some media attention recently because its management stresses a religious identity. Currently the Supreme Court is considering a Hobby Lobby case against Obamacare’s birth control mandate. There was also some media heat in the fall about claims Hobby Lobby not carrying Jewish merchandise. They apologized. If they’re opening in West Boca, they must be trying to appeal to Jews.
From what we’re hearing from readers, they’ll be welcome and find a number of eager shoppers.