A TikToker who says he’s a former Hobby Lobby worker offered a possible explanation for why the company refuses to use barcodes during checkout.
The former worker, Seth (@arenclelle), shared his video by stitching another TikToker (@ambernicholeee), who says, “Just found out why Hobby Lobby doesn’t use barcodes… this store gets crazier and crazier.”
Seth says Hobby Lobby’s CEO David Green “just really believes in the power of humans over computers.”
“People will say it’s because barcodes are the mark of the beast, and Hobby Lobby is crazy but they’re not that crazy,” Seth says in the video. “He just believes that humans can do work better and more efficiently than computers.”
@arenclelle #stitch with @ambernicholeee ♬ original sound – Seth
The TikToker explains Hobby Lobby sells a mix of products—some are its own brand and some are from other vendors. Products that are its own brand have their price printed on the packaging. But for products that come from other vendors, Hobby Lobby puts a sticker with the price on it, Seth says.
He claims that Hobby Lobby workers have to remember all the sales from each week so they can input them into the company’s system, which seems ineffective or at least difficult compared to a barcode system.
“Fr literally so hard to check people out at that store,” Seth added in his video’s caption.
Several viewers agreed with how difficult it is to check out at Hobby Lobby.
“Yes checking out at hobby lobby is the worst! So inefficient,” one viewer commented on the video.
“My mom works at hobby lobby as her retirement job… she is also confused,” another viewer commented. In response, Seth wrote, “If hobby lobby wasn’t … hobby lobby… it’d be an awesome retirement job lol.”
While some users agreed that the system seemed unconventional, they applauded the theory itself.
“This sounds absolutely insane but i do respect that the CEO prefers humans to computers,” one user said.
Some viewers said the refusal to use barcodes surely leads to problems for cashiers and customers alike.
“I hate going in there because I feel like everything is on sale and they never give me the sale price lol,” one user said.
“I wonder how often customers are getting overcharged by a cashier who forgets a sale,” a second user wrote.
A third commented, “no wonder it takes awhile at checkout.”
In response to that comment, the Seth wrote, “It’s bc ur cashier is either 16 or 60 & mentally running through this weeks discounts in their head.”
The Daily Dot reached out to Seth via TikTok comment and to Hobby Lobby via a media request form on its website.