After defying coronavirus orders in several states, insisting that it was an essential business, Hobby Lobby will finally close stores nationwide on Friday night.
USA Today reports: All of the Oklahoma City, Oklahoma-headquartered arts and crafts chain’s locations will close effective 8 p.m. Friday and remain closed until further notice, according to a notice posted on its website. “As the country continues efforts to manage and mitigate the devastating health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 virus, Hobby Lobby will, after careful consideration, close the remainder of its stores, and furlough nearly all store employees and a large portion of corporate and distribution employees,” the notice said. Earlier in the week, some Hobby Lobby stores in Ohio, Indiana, Wisconsin and Colorado were shut down by law enforcement after reopening, defying the state shelter-in-place orders.
Last month, Hobby Lobby founder David Green, a conservative Christian, reportedly cited the power for God as part of his justification for keeping stores open.
More from Business Insider: According to three employees, each speaking on the condition of anonymity for fear of retribution, managers at their stores called teams into a meeting to deliver the news on Friday afternoon. During the meetings, they were told the furlough will impact all workers below management level, and is expected to run through at least May 1. An employee in Indiana told Business Insider his manager said she will continue to work, though “has no idea why she will still be there” if stores are closed. “The line our manager gave us was, ‘The employees got what the employees wanted, the stores were closed,'” the Indiana employee said in an interview shortly after he learned of the furlough. “My question was, did God tell them they needed to close the stores and not pay us?”