Hobby Lobby temporarily closing all stores

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After receiving backlash over keeping its stores open in defiance of some states shelter-in-place orders, Hobby Lobby announced Friday that it is closing all its stores.

All of the Oklahoma City, Oklahoma-headquartered arts and crafts chain’s locations will close effective 8 p.m. Friday and remain closed until further notice, according to a notice posted on its website.

“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,” the notice said.

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Earlier in the week, some Hobby Lobby stores in Ohio, Indiana, Wisconsin and Colorado were shut down by law enforcement after reopening, defying the state shelter-in-place orders.

The company had said it considered itself an essential retailer.

This story will be updated.

Follow USA TODAY reporter Kelly Tyko on Twitter: @KellyTyko


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