On February 20, 2019

Hobby Lobby to close in March

Staff Report

After about five years, Hobby Lobby is closing its Rutland store.

A Hobby Lobby store manager said Tuesday, Feb. 19 that the store will close March 9. The store currently has about 20 employees. The manager said they have been offered jobs at nearby Hobby Lobby stores, but declined to say more.

It’s unclear why the store is closing. Attempts to reach Hobby Lobby’s corporate office weren’t successful.

Mayor David Allaire said he heard the store was closing from store employees. He later posted a message to his Facebook page.

“I was very disappointed,” Allaire said in an interview. “Anytime you lose any business, large or small, that’s not a day to celebrate.”

The building was previously a Hannaford supermarket. Hobby Lobby purchased the 47,000-square-foot building in 2013 for about $3 million. The store opened in 2014 with about 45 employees.

“We’re hoping the new buyer of the property will have something to replace it with,” Allaire said.

Allaire and Rutland Redevelopment Authority Executive Director Brennan Duffy both said they hadn’t heard from the corporate office, though Allaire had heard a rumor the building had already been purchased.

“The employees were told there was going to be a sale,” said Duffy.

Allaire heard the new business would feature a “food component,” but Allaire didn’t have further details.

“I don’t think it will be a supermarket,” Allaire said.

Allaire said he hasn’t yet seen a property transfer.

“I feel bad for the people who are employed there,” Allaire said.

The closest Hobby Lobby locations to the area are in Queensbury, New York and Claremont, New Hampshire.

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