Hobby Lobby has opened two new stores on Long Island as part of the arts and crafts retailer’s nationwide expansion this year.
Grand opening events were held Monday at stores in Massapequa Park and Bay Shore.
The Massapequa Park store is 40,000 square feet in size and located in a former Sports Authority space at 5234 Sunrise Hwy. in the Sunrise Promenade shopping center.
The Bay Shore store, at 46,000 square feet, is at 2052 Sunrise Hwy. in a space that used to be a Pathmark grocery store in the Kohl's Shopping Center.
Hobby Lobby provided statements on each store opening. The stores offer a wide array of products and strong customer service, said Kelly Black, director of advertising, who also touted "the quality, selection and value we offer in the craft and home décor market."
The new Hobby Lobby stores are the 17th and 18th in New York State, according to the company's website.
The chain entered the Long Island market in June, when it opened a Commack location.
Founded in Oklahoma City in 1972, Hobby Lobby is the largest privately owned arts and crafts retailer in the United States.
It opened its 800th store, in Florida, in January. In December the chain said it planned to open 60 locations in 2018.
The chain is known for its owners' conservative Christian values. It is closed on Sundays to allow employees time to worship.
On Monday a group of residents protested outside the Massapequa Park store, claiming the retailer violates women's rights by not providing employees with health insurance coverage for birth control.
Hobby Lobby and another plaintiff won a U.S. Supreme Court case in 2014, when the court ruled that some privately owned companies can be exempted from a mandate to pay for contraception under the Affordable Care Act because of their owners' religious beliefs.
Hobby Lobby’s insurance covers some forms of contraception, including birth control pills, but it excludes four types, including the morning-after pill, which it believes terminates life, according to the company.