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Hobby Lobby: Community will love new store
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            The signs are up and the parking lot is being paved as Statesboro residents eagerly await the opening of their newest shopping center, Statesboro Crossing. Located at the intersection of Brannen Street and the Veterans Memorial Parkway, Statesboro Crossing is the largest retail undertaking in this area since the Statesboro Mall was constructed in the early 1970's.

            This is a big deal and Statesboro Crossing tenant Hobby Lobby is glad to be a part of it. “We’ve had requests for a store to be opened in the Statesboro area, and we look forward to bringing our excellent customer service to the community,” said John Schumacher, assistant vice president of advertising.

            That is a very nice quote that was issued in a press release, but I felt like I had to dig a little deeper regarding their decision to come here. So I spoke with Vincent Parker, director of training and service for Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.

            "We saw the opportunity in Statesboro and felt that the market was underserved," Parker said. "We think the community will love what we have to offer." Now that's what I like to hear. It's not just that people wanted them to come here, they saw an opportunity.

            Don't get me wrong. What company in their right mind would open a store if they didn't see an opportunity to be successful and make a peachy profit? I just like to hear someone intimate that if nothing else.  In essence, we are coming here to open a nice store and make money, and we are excited about that.

            I asked Parker what is the most popular section of the Hobby Lobby, and he wasn't sure, but did lend a little personal insight. "Personally, I like the home accents but many people would have to say our extensive scrapbook area," he said. "We carry everything that a person of any level (beginner to expert) would ever need. All areas of our store are someone’s favorite; we have floral, fabric, scrapbook, knitting, needlework, frames and custom framing, art, crafts, cards and party, jewelry making, home accents and seasonal."

            Parker said the projected opening date of the new Hobby Lobby is sometime during the first full week of October. Parker further shared that the store's manager is Bob Templeton. According to Parker, Templeton has been with Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. for almost 2 years in their Mesa, Az. store. He has lived and worked in Savannah prior to working for Hobby Lobby and still has family ties to that area. That is one of the reasons he is being placed in Statesboro.