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Hobby Lobby To Open In Zephyrhills In January


Published by Zephyrhills Free Press
2013-11-26 12:38:12
Zephyrhills Free Press

 

Story and photo by Joe Potter

Photo: The former Sweetbay Grocery Store on Gall Boulevard in Merchants Square is being renovated for a new Hobby Lobby Store.

Hobby Lobby Stores, a privately held national retail chain of craft and home decor stores, is set to open a location in Zephyrhills in January, company officials announced Friday.

Construction and renovations are already under way on the 46,000 square-foot building formerly occupied by a Sweetbay Grocery Store on Gall Boulevard near Medical Arts Court in Merchants Square.

This will be Hobby Lobby’s 24th location in Florida. The store will bring about 35 to 50 jobs to the community paying $14 per hour for full time and $9.50 per hour for part-time associates. 

Vonnie Mikkelsen, Executive Director of the Greater Zephyrhills Chamber of Commerce, expressed her enthusiasm about Hobby Lobby coming to town.

“We are confident that Hobby Lobby will find they made a good choice in coming to Zephyrhills. A retailer with this type of product, reputation and brand recognition is good news for Zephyrhills. I believe the closest retailer of its kind is in Wesley Chapel or Lakeland. That’s very good news for locals and for the local economy.

“It so happens that the Chamber’s economic development arm conducted a consumer survey last summer to gauge where residents, businesses and daytime employees were spending their dollars outside the local economy, where we had ‘holes in our pockets.’ We asked them to tell us what was on their “Wish List” and we received a remarkable response.

“Interestingly enough, the most requested retailer by category was a craft or hobby store (second only to women’s clothing). And, 30 percent of those respondents asking for a craft/hobby store, named Hobby Lobby as their preferred choice. It seems at least one hole in our pocket is soon to be mended, and we anticipate a grand slam opening season for Hobby Lobby,” Mikkelsen said.

John Schumacher, Assistant Vice President of Advertising for Hobby Lobby, said the store offers a wide and ever-changing variety of craft and home decor products, including many 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,” Schumacher said.

Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., headquartered in Oklahoma City, Okla., began as Greco, a miniature picture-frames company in 1970. When David Green moved his business from the family’s garage to a 300 square foot retail space in 1972, Hobby Lobby was founded. Today, Hobby Lobby has nearly 600 stores across the nation that average 55,000 square feet in size.

The private corporation 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 will be Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. All Hobby Lobby stores are closed on Sunday.

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