Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Hobby Lobby eyes opening in I.F. market

One of our readers, Annette Barber Hall, asked earlier this month whether Hobby Lobby has any plans to open a store in the Idaho Falls area.

They do, said Scott Nelson, assistant vice president of real estate. The issue is, as is common with real estate, location.

Based in Oklahoma City, Okla., Hobby Lobby’s stores are typically 55,000 square feet, Nelson said. They look for busy retail areas with a lot of traffic, and have focused their attention on the Ammon side of Hitt Road.

“There are potential opportunities on the bookends, but we like to be in the middle,” he said.

Founded in 1972, Hobby Lobby recently started construction on its 500th store, in Las Vegas, Nev. The first store there, in Henderson, has done very well. “We’re a little bit on the recession-proof side,” Nelson said. “We offer inexpensive entertainment.”

Nelson said a stand-alone market like Idaho Falls-Ammon is right up their alley. “It’s got a good population and it’s Middle America,” he said. “That’s what we’re looking for.”