Sales associate Courtney Hilton, right, hustles to get her table display finished at the new Hobby Lobby store at Broadway and Craycroft. Katrijn Beci, down from Ahwatukee to train the new employees, watches.


The arts and crafts mecca known as Hobby Lobby opens its first Tucson store at 9 a.m. Friday.

The more than 50,000-square-foot store, on the northeast corner of East Broadway and Craycroft Road, is packed with arts and crafts supplies, a huge home accents section, frames, jewelry, fabric, seasonal items, scrapbook supplies, floral supplies, party supplies and more.

"We're happy to be in Tucson," said the store's general manager, Jim Gill. "I think we'll do well."

Hobby Lobby, an Oklahoma-based chain, says it is priced competitively with other arts and crafts stores in the area. Like its chain competition, Michaels and Jo-Ann's Fabrics and Crafts, the store will offer a 40 percent off coupon every week, and sale signs can be seen storewide.

"We offer the widest variety of crafting supplies you will find in one location, with new merchandise arriving all the time," said Hobby Lobby spokesman Vince Parker.

Variety, indeed. Parker said the store carries more than 70,000 products in 13 departments.

Gill said the store will get a truck full of new merchandise once a week.

The addition of Hobby Lobby to the local retail scene has brought approximately 65 jobs to Tucson. Wages start at $9 per hour for part-time employees and $13 per hour for full-time employees.

Applications are still being accepted.

The grand opening is set for 9 a.m. Monday, but the doors will first open to the public Friday.

"We are looking forward to becoming part of the community," Parker said, adding that the company is looking for a second location in Tucson.

If You Go

Hobby Lobby, 5555 E. Broadway, Suite 131.

The grand opening starts at 9 a.m. Monday, with a ribbon cutting and refreshments.

• Store hours: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays. Closed Sundays.

• Contact: 512-0242,


Oklahoma City-based Hobby Lobby Stores Inc., launched in 1972, now has 525 stores nationwide. "The foundation of our business has been, and will continue to be strong values, and honoring the Lord in a manner consistent with biblical principles," its website says.

Contact reporter Angela Pittenger at or 573-4137.