Gillette Hobby Lobby Assistant Manager Anna Wagner and Customer Service Manager Julie Robin are all smiles outside the store Sept. 18.
The pay increase will take effect by Oct. 1
Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. announced plans Monday to raise its minimum full-time hourly wage at all stores nationwide – including Gillette – from $15 to $17, effective Oct. 1. Hobby Lobby Founder and CEO David Green cited 2020’s many obstacles as reasoning for the wage increase.
“Because this year has presented so many challenges to our employees, we are very happy that we are able to provide pay increases to thousands of our associates before the Christmas season,” Green said in a Sept. 14 press release.
As one of the first retailers to establish a blanket minimum hourly wage well above the federal minimum wage in 2009, the chain store has since continued to raise its minimum wages over the last 11 years, boosting wages 10 times, according to the release. In 2014, Hobby Lobby most recently raised its full-time minimum hourly wage to $15.
In Wyoming, the minimum wage is currently $5.15 an hour, which is less than the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour for covered nonexempt employees, and one of the lowest in the nation.
By comparison, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, the minimum wage in Colorado, Arizona and California is $12 an hour while Washington is $13.50.
“We have always worked hard to be a retail leader when it comes to taking care of our people,” said Green in the release. “From closing our stores on Sundays and at 8 p.m. the rest of the week, to providing some of the best pay and benefits in the retail industry, we are thankful that we are able to share our success with our valued employees and provide time for rest, family and worship.”
Green added that these investments allow Hobby Lobby to attract and retain a stand-up group of associates who in turn help provide the “wonderfully unique shopping experience enjoyed by our many loyal customers.”
In addition to providing industry-leading pay, the retailer also provides great benefits to eligible employees, including an outstanding medical, prescription and dental plan, plus 401(k), among others, per the release.
The privately owned arts and crafts retailer operates over 850 stores across the country including the Gillette location, one of three in the state of Wyoming, which opened officially in January.
When asked about the impending wage increase Friday afternoon, Gillette Hobby Lobby Customer Service Manager Julie Robin, who’s been with the local store since its grand opening, said, “We’re thrilled to death. Who wouldn’t be?”
Assistant Manager Anna Wagner agreed.
“It’s rewarding to be a part of a company that adjusts to the needs of its employees both locally and across the country, especially during these challenging times,” she said. “We’re truly blessed.”