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Hobby Lobby opens in Branson

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Oklahoma City-based Hobby Lobby Stores Inc. opened its first Branson store ahead of schedule.

The 1477 State Highway 248 craft store opened Sept. 18, according to a news release. A company spokesperson earlier this year estimated a February 2021 opening date.

The 61,000-square-foot Hobby Lobby, managed by Evelyn Joy, takes over a former Kmart space in Cedar Ridge Plaza. Kmart's sole Branson store shuttered in 2017, according to Springfield Business Journal archives.

"The success of our stores in Missouri is a good indicator that Branson shoppers will be pleased with the quality, selection and value we offer in the craft and home decor market," said Kelly Black, director of advertising for Hobby Lobby, in the release.

The new store is Hobby Lobby's 26th in Missouri. It has more than 900 stores nationwide.

A Hobby Lobby spokesperson could not be reached immediately by deadline for more details on the new store.

In his weekly statement to the community on Friday, Branson Mayor Edd Akers welcomed Hobby Lobby and a handful of other businesses to town.

"While they are not always pretty against the views of our spectacular natural scenery, construction cranes and equipment are a great sign of progress and a growing economy," he said in the statement.

The Branson store opening comes as Hobby Lobby recently announced an increase in its minimum full-time hourly wage to $17, effective Oct. 1.

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