Monroe County

Hobby Lobby moving into Victor

The craft store chain is opening a store in the back of the old Kmart building, as well as one in Henrietta

HENRIETTA/VICTOR, Rochester, NY — Attention Kmart shoppers. The space at the back of the former Kmart in Victor is slated to become a Hobby Lobby.

The chain of American craft stores will present its plan for a facade at 10 Cobblestone Court to the Victor Planning Board on Tuesday, July 28. It is seeking approval to paint the front facade and add an accessible ramp as well as auto slider doors to its proposed store.

In Henrietta, a Hobby Lobby is opening at the new Minotti Plaza on Jefferson Road at the corner of Clay Road, said Henrietta town supervisor Steve Schultz.

The new store in Victor is located in the back of the former Kmart at the former Oriental Rug Mart site. Construction is underway, with chain link fences surrounding the proposed site.

Kmart once had four locations in the Rochester area, and all have closed. Kmart is a subsidiary of Sears Holding, a new corporation formed when Kmart acquired Sears. There are still stores in New York state but not in Rochester. The Victor store opened in 1994 and closed in 2018.

Cobblestone Court is an outdoor shopping plaza across from Eastview Mall with a new T.J. Maxx store. Dick’s Sporting Goods store at Cobblestone Court will move across Route 96 to the former Sears space at Eastview Mall with over 100,000 square feet of retail space.

Hobby Lobby sells fabrics and craft supplies and has another store in Webster. The store has been in the spotlight during the coronavirus shutdown. Hobby Lobby reportedly kept some of its stores open in defiance of state shelter-in-place orders while some locations are being forced to close, according to media reports.

As businesses across the nation grapple with differences in how states define “essential” businesses or retailers, Hobby Lobby and its competitors Michaels and JOANN have kept many locations open with limited hours during the pandemic shutdown.

But some Hobby Lobby locations in Ohio, Indiana, Wisconsin and Colorado were shut down by law enforcement after reopening in defiance of orders.

Hobby Lobby did not respond to USA TODAY’s response for comment.

In 2017, Oklahoma City-based Hobby Lobby was fined $3 million for allegedly smuggling Iraqi artifacts. The company allegedly bought hundreds of cuneiform tablets and thousands of other artifacts in a $1.6 million deal that “was fraught with red flags” and was consistent with a “clandestine” operation, according to a civil complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York. The packages bore shipping labels that described their contents as “ceramic tiles,” the complaint said.

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