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Retail.

Byline: Ilene Aleshire The Register-Guard

SPRINGFIELD - Hobby Lobby is holding a grand opening for its 55,000-square-foot store at Gateway Mall at 9 a.m. Oct. 12. It will be the Oklahoma-based chain's third store in Oregon, after Bend and Albany.

"We feel blessed for the fantastic opportunity to be a part of this community. Our goal is for customers to experience the exceptional service, selection and value Hobby Lobby offers as we continue to expand nationwide," John Schumacher, Hobby Lobby's assistant vice president of advertising, said in a prepared statement.

Hobby Lobby's opening comes on the heels of another grand opening at Gateway, of Ulta Beauty on Friday, as the owners of the 25-year-old mall near the end of a $43.3 million makeover.

Building permits indicate that Gateway Mall Partners spent more than $2.8 million on the Hobby Lobby space.

Privately held Hobby Lobby carries 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 papercrafting supplies.

The company began in a garage in Oklahoma City in 1970 as Greco, selling miniature picture frames. David Green moved the business from the family garage to a 300-square-foot retail space in 1972, which marked the start of Hobby Lobby.

Today, Hobby Lobby has more than 650 stores across the nation and is aggressively expanding. Hobby Lobby stores typically hire 30 to 50 employees and average 55,000 square feet.

The company's entry-level hourly wage for full-time workers is $15.24 an hour. Minimum wage for part-time employees is $10.26 an hour. Oregon's minimum wage is $9.25.

Hobby Lobby, whose owners are evangelical Christians, made headlines a few years ago by challenging a provision of the federal Affordable Care Act.

The company cited religious beliefs for its refusal to provide its employees health insurance that included no-cost emergency contraception. Federal law generally requires the contraception coverage. The law exempts religious employers and nonprofit religious institutions from the requirement, but not for-profit businesses.

The U.S. Supreme Court ultimately ruled in favor of Hobby Lobby, saying the federal mandate violated the religious beliefs of the owners of the privately held company.

The Springfield store's hours are Monday-Saturday 9 a.m.-8 p.m. All Hobby Lobby stores are closed on Sunday.

For more information about the company, go to www.hobbylobby.com, or www.facebook.com/ hobbylobby.

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Title Annotation:Retail; Hobby Lobby is holding a grand opening for its first Eugene-Springfield area store on Oct. 12
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:Oct 1, 2015
Words:410
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