Hobby Lobby, following a blog report that the chain did not stock Chanukah merchandise, said it was evaluating its inventory and looking into an alleged anti-Jewish slur by one of its employees.
Ken Berwitz on his Hopelessly Partisan blog wrote over the weekend that a friend who asked about Chanukah goods at the arts and crafts chain's store in Marlboro, N.J., was told "We don't cater to you people."
Berwitz reported that he called the company's home office in Oklahoma and was told that Chanukah is not on the chain's list of holidays and that it would not be stocking Chanukah merchandise "(b)ecause Mr. Green is the owner of the company, he's a Christian and those are his values."
David Green, an evangelical pastor, according to Berwitz, owns the chain. In addition to Marlboro, the chain has outposts in Milville and South Plainfield, New Jersey, with a fourth store expected to open in Lawrenceville this month. In Pennsylvania, the closest Hobby Lobby is in Easton, with a Trexlertown location also slated to open soon.
In a statement issued Monday on Entrepreneur.com, the chain said it "is currently working with our buyers over our merchandise selection. Due to multiple customer requests, we are currently evaluating our Holiday items and what we will carry in the future.
"Alleged comments made by employees are being investigated and will be addressed accordingly. These comments are in no way indicative of Hobby Lobby culture, the owners and the operators."
The company is not required by law to sell Chanukah or any other Jewish-related merchandise.