Hobby Lobby, the Oklahoma-based national crafts retailer, plans to open its first store in Pierce County next year in Lakewood.
The store will open in the space occupied by Kmart for 40 years until it closed in January. Hobby Lobby has a sign on the vacant building at 5401 100th St. SW announcing it's coming. I've left a message with the store's corporate office for further details, including employment numbers.
Vince Parker, a spokesman for Hobby Lobby, sent me an email that came in while I was writing this first post. He confirms the company will lease the 56,000- square-foot store, and that it plans to hire 30-50 employees. Pay for full time employees starts at $14.00 an hour, Parker said, and $9.50 for part time. Washington state's minimum wage is $9.19 an hour.
Becky Newton of Lakewood's economic development department confirmed the retailer's plans on Wednesday, saying it plans to open in "early 2014." The building will be renovated, she said, so the vagaries of construction timelines prevent any firmer an opening date.
Hobby Lobby has just three other Western Washington stores: in Federal Way, Lynnwood and Everett.
Hobby Lobby was founded in 1972 by David Green. It is privately held and has 573 stores nationwide, and it states that it operates its business "in a manner consistent with Biblical principles." The company is currently suing the federal government over certain birth control mandates in the Affordable Care Act, sometimes called "Obamacare."
Hobby Lobby stores, like Chick-fil-As, are closed on Sundays.