Hobby Lobby coming to Altus

DUNCAN, OK (KSWO)- If you've driven down Main Street in Altus you may have noticed some construction starting on the old Hastings Entertainment Building. That's because a nationwide retailer that is known for arts and crafts projects is bringing its business to the town.

In a few months a Hobby Lobby will be coming to Altus. It's expected to bring in dozens of jobs and more money into the Altus economy.

"We're incredibly excited about what this means for the community and just thrilled that Hobby Lobby is going to be doing business in our community," said Bush.

To add to the excitement President of the Altus Chamber of Commerce Brian Bush said Hobby Lobby has special ties to Altus. The President and CEO David Green is a graduate of  Altus High School.

"He also had got his early retail experience working at a store here in Altus and so there's a lot to the Hobby Lobby story that has to do with our community and so we think it's it's a real neat ending to that story or should I say a new beginning to that story as the store comes home," said Bush.

Bush said this project has been in the works for the past three years and workers have already started to renovate the nearly 60,000 square feet old Hastings building on Main Street as Hobby Lobby's new home.

"We felt for a long time that our community was under retail. And so we had a real goal of improving that for our citizens but also for our local economy," said Bush.

Improving the economy is exactly what the giant retailer is going to do. The Average gross in sales for Hobby Lobby is $6 to 8 million dollars a year. It's expected to bring in about 300 thousand dollars in sales tax for the city of Altus bringing in about 40 jobs with pay starting out just under 16 dollars.

"This is a tremendous opportunity for employment for our local citizens. In addition to that we also know that there were folks here in Altus who wanted to go shop at Hobby Lobby that we're having to leave town to do that. Well now they'll get to stay home and spend those dollars here and shop local," said Bush.

Bush adds Hobby Lobby will benefit other local businesses in the area.

"As people come in to shop at this hobby lobby then that's going to be a benefit to all of those other retailers that are here in the community our restaurants and other things that they will do while they're here shopping at hobby lobby as well," said Bush.

He's hoping it will draw more attention to other national retailers to bring there business to the Altus Market.

"Hobby Lobby is also known for making good decisions about where it puts its stores. And so for us we were really excited about the fact that this puts those other retailers on notice that this is a strong market that they ought to be looking at and hopefully they will they'll be paying attention," said Bush.

Workers will continue to renovate the building in the next few months. The Hobby Lobby grand opening will be in April.

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