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Hobby Lobby closing all stores, issuing mass furloughs

Business Insider logo Business Insider 4/3/2020 Bethany Biron
a group of people standing in front of a building © AP Photo/Ed Andrieski

After quietly reopening stores across the country in defiance of coronavirus-related state lockdown orders, Hobby Lobby is closing all stores nationally and furloughing employees without pay.

In a statement posted on the company website on Friday afternoon, Hobby Lobby announced it will furlough "nearly all store employees" without pay and "is ending emergency leave pay and suspending use of company provided paid time off benefits and vacation."

"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, effective Friday, April 3rd, at 8:00 p.m," Hobby Lobby posted on its website. "The stores will remain closed until further notice."

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.

"The line our manager gave us was, 'The employees got what the employees wanted, the stores were closed,'" a Hobby Lobby employee in Indiana said. "My question was did God tell them they needed to closed the stores and not pay us?" '

Related video: How your favorite stores have been affected by the 2020 retail apocalypse (provided by GoBankingRates)

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