If you’re like many people with email addresses, the onslaught of COVID-19 has resulted in many emails from companies that you may have forgotten you gave your contact information to. Many organizations have scrambled to make their response to this new threat clear, whether in a bid to reassure customers or keep up with the Joneses (or both).
While most restaurant dining rooms and many stores have been closed, there are some stores that might be considered “non-essential” that are keeping their doors open.
Many craft and art supply stores fall under that category, and it’s easy to understand why they’d remain open — people stuck at home? For many, that means starting or completing projects.
There are several big art and craft supply stores that have made their policies clear while also keeping their stores open.
JOANN’s is staying open, but modifying its hours.
“As shared previously, we have been taking action to ensure we are protecting our facilities, customers and teams across the nation,” president and CEO Wade Miquelon wrote in an update on their website.
“We continue to rely on the guidance of public health agencies, including the CDC and local, state and federal governments. As such, we are taking proactive measures to protect all who visit and work in our stores.”
Michaels is also remaining open, according to a post on their website written by CEO Mark Cosby.
“We are increasing the cleaning of cashier and framing counters, store classrooms, shopping cart handles, door handles, bathrooms, breakrooms and other high-traffic and high-touch areas. We have also developed dedicated communication channels to share information and preventative guidelines with our Team Members.”
Hobby Lobby, closed Sundays to allow employees time for family and worship. Open during a pandemic because our morals aren’t really all that great. pic.twitter.com/zA4pbCkPcB
— Neil Saunders (@NeilRetail) March 20, 2020
Hobby Lobby has also decided to stay open for the time being — but it has gotten some flak online for that decision, which is ironic considering it isn’t the only arts and crafts store making that decision.
“This country has experienced several calamities and disruptions over the past century,” the letter began. “From world wars and terrorist attacks, to financial crises and pandemics. While the current COVID-19 virus has been added to that list, and is certainly concerning and disruptive, I have every confidence that we, as a country and Company, will sustain and thrive again soon. My and Barbara’s confidence, and comfort, comes in large part from knowing that you are part of our Hobby Lobby family.”
“In my family, Barbara is the prayer warrior. Today, that title takes on such a different meaning than I ever imagined before because we are at war with this latest virus. To quote the late Dr. Billy Graham, ‘We are to pray in times of adversity, lest we become faithless and unbelieving. We are to pray in times of prosperity, lest we become boastful and proud. We are to pray in times of danger, lest we become fearful and doubting. We are to pray in times of security, lest we become self-sufficient.'”
He shared that his prayer warrior wife had been given three words during her time of prayer: guide, guard and groom. “We serve a God who will Guide us through this storm, who will Guard us as we travel to places never seen before, and who, as a result of this experience, will Groom us to be better than we could have ever thought possible before now.”
Green acknowledged how blessed their endeavors as a company have been, and how they’ve been able to operate with much more financial security and provide better benefits and pay than many other, similar operations.
His closing was something that can be encouraging to many people, not just the employees he was writing to.
“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,” he wrote. “The Company’s leaders are doing all they can to balance the need to keep the Company strong and the needs of the employees.
“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. We have always been the most successful Arts and Crafts retailer in the country, and, because of you, we will continue to be.
“Our Statement of Purpose from the beginning of our company is as relevant today as it was in 1972: ‘We believe that it is by God’s grace and provision that the Company has endured. He has been faithful in the past, and we trust Him for our future.'”
“Again, I cannot adequately express how much I appreciate each one of you. I ask that you all pray for our health and a return to normalcy very soon.”
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