2020 has been a year of substantial turbulence. Whether it be economic, social, or political, it is clear that the status-quo is being challenged. However, in the past week a new source of turmoil is a bit surprising. The craft and arts store Hobby Lobby has become the center of a boycott on twitter after a twitter user shared a post with a picture of a pro-Trump display in one of their stores.
This is not the first time Hobby Lobby has been the center of a political debate, however. The company is famously conservative, and in 2014 the company won a supreme court case which determined that companies could choose not to provide contraceptive care to their employees if it contradicts their religious beliefs.
Moreover, when the virus began, even though non-essential stores were supposed to close, Hobby Lobby chose to keep some of their stores open. This was in defiance of public health officials’ recommendations. The CEO of the company, David Green, made a statement on March 19th to address the pandemic. In his statement he said “while we do not know for certain what the future holds, or how long this disruption will last, we can all rest in knowing that God is in control. To help ensure our company remains strong and prepared to prosper once again when this passes, we may all have to ‘tighten our belts’ over the near future.”
Some consultants weighed in on the boycott too. Eric Schiffer, a consultant for Reputation Management Consultants, told USA Today that the boycott “creates a reckless war with customers on the left who want to see Biden in the White House and Trump dressed in orange and shackles.” Schiffer continued to say that “the virtual boycott is possible but unlikely to last long unless Hobby Lobby doubles down, the damage for some shoppers will be done and those Trump haters will buy their yarn with others.”
Therefore, it is unlikely that a company which has already withstood so much turmoil will experience a significant drop in sales. Hobby Lobby has already established itself as conservative, and consumers have continued to shop there even if they do not agree with the company’s beliefs. As such, Hobby Lobby has little to worry about and they will likely rebound from the dilemma that they are presently facing. This incident is indicative of the contentious election that is fast approaching.
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