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Shoppers flock to new Hobby Lobby

Friday’s opening of a large hobby center at Laurel Mall filled the parking lot with cars and brought smiles to shoppers.

Hobby Lobby Stores Inc. opened the 56,000-square-foot retail operation at the former Kmart site in Hazle Township and cashiers were kept busy.

Shoppers expressed surprise at the expansive place.

“I’m actually overwhelmed at the size of the store and the amount of products they have in stock,” said Kyle Whitley of Tamaqua.

Whitley is a newly named director of the Tamaqua Community Art Center, along with Emily Comensky-Hadesty of Coaldale.

An advocate for the arts, Whitley admitted to stumbling on the new shopping destination by accident.

“I came out of the mall and saw people going in so I thought I’d check it out. With everything they have it makes me want to create some things.”

Phil Schaffer is the store manager of facility located on Airport Beltway and Laurel Mall Drive.

“The success of our stores in Pennsylvania is a good indicator that Hazle Township shoppers will be pleased with the quality, selection and value we offer in the craft and home décor market,” Kelly Black, director of advertising said.

“New customers and customers already familiar with the Hobby Lobby shopping experience are eagerly anticipating this store opening.”

Hobby Lobby Stores Inc., an Oklahoma City-based private corporation, began as Greco, a miniature picture frame company in 1970.

When David Green moved his business from the family home to a 300 square-foot retail space in 1972, Hobby Lobby was born. It is the nation’s largest privately-owned arts and crafts retailer.

Hobby Lobby has over 900 stores offering more than 70,000 crafting and home décor products and services such as custom framing.

The grand opening featured sales including 50% off home décor, art sets, art tables and easels, jewelry making supplies and 40% off Valentine party, crafts and decorations.

Store hours are Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Hobby Lobby stores are closed on Sunday.

For more information about Hobby Lobby, weekly specials, coupon offers, store locations and online shopping, visit hobbylobby.com, download the mobile app or follow on Facebook at facebook.com/hobbylobby.

Cashiers were kept busy Friday at the opening of Hobby Lobby at Laurel Mall in Hazle Township, the first in the region. DONALD R. SERFASS/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS