West Boca Hobby Lobby: End of September

Hobby Lobby Stores announced that their new 52,000 square foot West Boca store will open at the end of September. This is earlier than we had previously heard that it would open mid-Fall. Construction and renovations have begun on the former Bealls in West Boca Square (aka the Target plaza).
Hobby Lobby’s thirtieth location in Florida will bring about 35 – 50 jobs to the community paying $15 per hour for full time and $10 per hour for part-time associates.
“We offer a wide variety of craft and home decor products including exclusive Hobby Lobby brands. First-time shoppers will be pleasantly surprised at the large store size and the exceptional service provided by our trained associates,” stated John Schumacher, Assistant Vice President of Advertising.
Hobby Lobby has over 600 stores across the nation that average 55,000 square feet in size and offers more than 70,000 crafting and home decor products in its stores. Departments include floral, fabric, needle art, custom framing, baskets, home accents, wearable art, arts and crafts, jewelry making, scrapbooking and paper crafting supplies. Store hours are Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. All Hobby Lobby stores are closed on Sunday.
We previously wrote in some depth about Hobby Lobby and how it might affect the Michael’s in Somerset Shoppes.

Hobby Lobby Update and Michael's

Image from Wikipedia
Image from Wikipedia

West Boca News consulted with an industry insider about the soon-to-open Hobby Lobby in West Boca. It will be in West Boca Square, the plaza on the northwest corner of 441 and Palmetto, with Target, Burger King and Chili’s, replacing the Beall’s that closed this past summer.
Screen Shot 2014-05-02 at 2.28.59 PMWe asked the insider (who preferred to remain anonymous) about the impact of Hobby Lobby on the Michael’s store in Somerset Shoppes (northeast corner of Glades and Lyons). She said the new Hobby Lobby will destroy that Michael’s for a few reasons.
First, the Hobby Lobby’s location will cut into nearly all of Michael’s customer base west of 441, as well as much of their business west of Lyons.
Second, the Hobby Lobby will be twice as large as the Michael’s store, so the selection will be better. Note that we previously reported the Hobby Lobby would be 78,000 square feet. We had that wrong. Hobby Lobby said in a press release that the store would be 52,000 square feet, which is still more than twice the size of the Michael’s. The property appraiser lists the building at 78,000 square feet so we’re not sure what’s happening with the extra space.
Third, the Hobby Lobby will be newer and that naturally draws customers. Our insider said she’s seen Hobby Lobby in other states and they do very well.
She did offer one caveat. Hobby Lobby has restricted hours, closed on Sundays and open only until 8 pm the rest of the week. She feels that will leave some business for Michael’s, but probably not enough to survive.
West Boca News thinks there are two other challenges for Hobby Lobby that may help Michael’s survive. Michael’s has been in that location for a while and has some local customer loyalty to rely on. Meanwhile Hobby Lobby has had some rough spots recently with the Jewish community and with political liberals over their Obamacare lawsuit. Both are substantial parts of the West Boca market.
Black arrow points to new Hobby Lobby; Red points to Michael's.
Arrows point to new Hobby Lobby (lower left) and to Michael’s (upper right).

Hobby Lobby Will Open "Mid-Fall"

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.

Image from Wikipedia
Image from Wikipedia

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.