“When you’re here, you might as well walk through the rest of the mall,” Casali added.
Kirshawna Mailboy owns a nail salon in town and said she just likes shopping. She visited Hobby Lobby on Tuesday for some furniture and decorations. She felt like Hobby Lobby would fit in well at the mall because many people in Flagstaff are into interior design.
“You can get crafty or get things that are already made,” Mailboy said.
When Hobby Lobby was asked by the Arizona Daily Sun about the business’s reputation, its plans to support the community, and for a visual tour of the building through email, a representative declined to comment.
The business has filled the spot of the former anchor store of Sears. Sears Holding Company, which owned Sears and Kmart, declared bankruptcy in 2018.
Rhino Holdings Flagstaff LLC formerly purchased the location from Sears for $4.5 million, according to the Coconino County Assessor. The sale closed in July 2019.
Rhino Holdings’ website also shows it owns 24 other properties across the western United States, including California, Washington and New Mexico. One other location in Wyoming showed a Hobby Lobby opening in January 2020, with four of the company’s locations being either former Sears or Kmart locations.
Hobby Lobby took out the second floor of Sears’ 60,000-square-foot location, choosing to fit its maze of hobby supplies onto the first floor. It opened in late August.