Shoppers flock to Hobby Lobby
Published 10:40 am Friday, February 7, 2014
Temperatures outside have been freezing, but warming up to the newest business in town has been no problem for local shoppers.
Hobby Lobby opened its doors this week and the parking lot at the Vicksburg Mall, outside the retail chain store, has stayed busy with shoppers loading up their vehicles with purchases.
Jan Marie Fortenberry purchased a pair of matching end tables that she was stowing into the rear of her SUV.
Fortenberry said she has shopped at Hobby Lobby in Jackson and Monroe and is glad to have one in town.
“I’m very excited Hobby Lobby is here,” she said. “It’s huge and very nice.”
The 54,000-square foot facility is the newest tenant at the Vicksburg Mall, replacing J.C. Penney, which left after 29 years.
Founder David Green, opened the first Hobby Lobby in Oklahoma in 1972, and what began as a frame shop occupying only 300 square-feet of retail space has grown to more than 550 stores nationwide.
Hobby Lobby specializes in arts and crafts, and Marvin Ward said he is glad to see the retailer in Vicksburg.
“I’m glad I don’t have to travel to Jackson to shop. This is a good thing for the city and there is a good variety in this store,” he said.
Vince Parker, a representative of the company said Hobby Lobby carries more than 70,000 products in 13 departments, which include floral, fabric, needlework, frames — both custom and ready-made — art, hobbies, jewelry, crafts, cards and party, scrapbooking, seasonal and home accents.
Vickie Hickman, of Vicksburg, was on a mission Thursday to find Mardi Gras decorations and shop in the floral section of Hobby Lobby.
“We are going on a cruise and I need decorations to decorate my cruise ship door” she said.
Hickman said she was also looking for some artificial flowers for her cat to play with.
“She (the cat) likes them, especially the ones with the little flower buds,” Hickman said.
Visiting with Hickman was Linda Headly, a Port Gibson resident who works in Vicksburg.
Headly said she was on her lunch hour shopping in Hobby Lobby.
“My 92-year-old aunt lost her home to a fire just recently, and I printed a family picture for her and need a frame for it,” Headley said.
Headley said she is very excited to see Hobby Lobby in town along with several other new businesses.
“They have added a lot of new businesses like Newk’s and Chik-fil-A to Vicksburg, and it feels like positive growth for the city,” she said.
Not everyone was excited to be at the new Hobby Lobby.
Josh Peebles laughed when he said his wife drug him by his shirt collar to the new store.
“She is crazy about Hobby Lobby and has been dying to get in here,” he said.
Even though Peebles was not ecstatic about shopping, his 4-year-old son Caden was going wild with excitement and curiosity about everything he saw.
“He is trying to get me into every turn and corner of the store,” Peebles said.
Hobby Lobby, 3505 Pemberton Square Blvd., opened Tuesday, but has scheduled their grand opening and ribbon-cutting for 9 a.m. Monday.
For more information, call 601-636-1012 or visit www.vicksburgchamber.org.