In a recent report, The Hill looked into the bizarre claim as to why the craft store Hobby Lobby does not use bar codes on products and scanning at the checkout register.
Cashiers at Hobby Lobby don’t scan items at the checkout line, instead, entering each item manually into the cash register.
The lack of scanning and barcodes has led to the internet rumor that the Christian-owned company avoids using the technology for fear that modern barcodes are the “mark of the beast” mentioned in the book of Revelation.
This isn’t an uncommon claim by some Christians who obsess about the “end of days.” According to the tech publication Wired, the claim that barcodes are the mark of the beast originated in the 1970s when universal pricing codes were first unveiled.
But this belief has nothing to do with why Hobby Lobby eschews the technology.
According to The Hill, David Green, the founder and CEO of Hobby Lobby, wrote in his book “More Than a Hobby” that the decision not to include barcodes and cash register scanners at the stores is about putting people first.
Green explained that he didn’t want Hobby Lobby employees to think that the company puts more value on computers than it does on people.
Green also wrote that employees will have a better understanding of what items the store carries if they are taking inventory manually rather than simply trusting the computer to let them know whether items are in stock or out of stock.
But the lack of scanning at the checkout has resulted in some complaints from Hobby Lobby customers who are frustrated by how slow the checkout process is since cashiers have to manually enter prices that can often change each week.
Hobby Lobby explains on the customer service page of its website that while it has considered allowing scanners at its checkouts, it does not feel doing so is “right for us at this time.”