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Hobby Lobby arts and crafts retailer plans LI store

Customers at a Hobby Lobby store in Denver

Customers at a Hobby Lobby store in Denver on May 22, 2013. Credit: AP / Ed Andrieski

National arts and crafts retailer Hobby Lobby will open its first store on Long Island next summer.

Hobby Lobby said it will remodel a 43,000-square-foot store, formerly occupied by Sports Authority, in the King Kullen Plaza on Veterans Memorial Highway and Sunken Meadow State Parkway in Commack. The space is currently leased by pop-up store Everything Christmas. The new store is expected to open in August 2017, about a month before the lease of the King Kullen next door to it is set to expire. High-end supermarket chain Whole Foods Market is set to open a new store in King Kullen’s space in 2019.

The new Commack store is expected to create 35 to 50 jobs, paying $15.35 per hour for full-time and $10.23 per hour for part-time associates. Store hours will be Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Hobby Lobby stores are closed on Sunday.

“We do not have a presence on Long Island and have been looking for opportunities in the area,” Hobby Lobby spokesman Bob Miller said in a statement. “We are eager to get going on this new location in Commack and hope it is the first of several on Long Island.”

Hobby Lobby offers more than 75,000 arts, crafts, hobbies, home décor, holiday, and seasonal products. The Oklahoma City-based privately-owned retailer currently has 14 locations in New York, and more than 700 stores across the U.S. It employs about 32,000 people.

The company started in 1970 as a miniature picture frame company called Greco. Founder David Green moved the business from his family’s garage to a 300-square-foot retail space in Oklahoma City in 1972.

Hobby Lobby, known for its owners’ Christian beliefs, attracted national attention in 2012 when it challenged the Affordable Care Act requiring companies to pay for insurance coverage for contraception. The Supreme Court ruled in the company’s favor in 2014, saying that, for closely held companies whose owners opposed contraception on religious grounds, the coverage requirement violated a federal law protecting religious freedom.

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