it is the greatest debate of the craft world-hobby lobby vs. michael's. i have had many conversations with other crafty friends about this issue. see, each month, i get together with some friends for craft club and almost every girl in my pod at school loves to be crafty, so this topic gets much attention.
first, let's evaluate the situation. michael's is literally two minutes from my house. they have a weekly coupon for 40% off one item. and, well, that's about it. as far as i am concerned, they have sub par merchandise and very little customer service. hobby lobby is not close to home, but could be considered "on my way" if at preschool or my parents' house. they have a 40% off one item about once a month. they have great ads and better prices. their customer service is decent and they have a great selection of most craft items one generally needs. i typically go to a specialty store or order online if i need something specific that hobby lobby does not carry. and, they love Jesus! now, i am not declaring that michael's doesn't, but hobby lobby makes it a point being closed on sundays, playing worship music, and proclaiming it in signs about holiday and sunday closings.
but, hobby lobby falls apart in one area. one large area-check out or cash wrap or the register, whatever you want to call it. those great ads i was praising earlier make it impossible for anyone to truly understand what is on sale, including the people who work there. while checking out, the sales person must inspect each item to see if it can fit into one of the given discount categories for the week. many times, they ask the customer or, when a question arises, they just err in the side of caution, and give you the discount. how is this a problem you ask? well, because it makes it almost impossible to check out quickly. so, if you are not the only one in line, it means that you must entertain your children as you wait your turn. but wait, i used all my tricks in the hour trip we just took through the store! never fear, hobby lobby has provided you with a vast array of candy just far enough away from the register for me to loose sight of my child and not know where he or she is. now, as i pull my child, kicking and screaming, back to the line, they are able to entertain themselves with the random collection of might need items right next to the register. items like glass candle votives, batteries, measuring tapes, bags-o-beads, peanut m&ms and, my favorite, sacramints (you gotta love a good religious pun!) i then spend the next ridiculous amount of time prying these crazy items from the firm grasp of my two year old while awaiting my turn. it is now that his sharp piercing cries are drawing the attention of others. at last, it is my turn to wait for the final evaluation and determine my total spendings. why is it that they can't join the 21st century and use the electronic bar code scanning tactics that work for every other company in the world?? and don't you dare think of taking anything back because first, you can't read the receipt to know if it includes what you are returning and neither can they. then, you have to sign more paperwork than when you bought your last house and they prick your finger so you can sign your name in blood. recently they "updated" their system. all this means is that they now have an electronic cash register and their receipts are longer.
i hear that joann's is headed to town, but i haven't seen any evidence and, honestly, will they be any better?