Which US Retail Company Mission Statements Have Religious Values?

Retailers With Religious Business Practices and Vision, Religious Founders

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© Barbara Farfan for About.com

Question: What are the U.S. retail companies that have religious mission statements, a religious-oriented vision, religious values, and religious founders?

Answer: Some of the largest U.S. retail companies - Forever 21, Chick-fil-A, Hobby Lobby, H-E-B, jcpenney, and Whole Foods - were founded by leaders with strong religious beliefs that they consciously infused into the daily operations of their business and the business practices of their employees.

 

The retail chains with the most openly religious founders sometimes have equally religious mission statements, and religious visions. Sometimes, however, you have to look closely to find evidence of religious values in action because most retail chains prefer to retain a secular and non-partisan brand image.  

To take a strong stand on religious would be risk offending or alienating customers who embrace different religious values. That's a market-share limiting stance that most of the largest U.S. retail chains are not willing to take.  

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Click the links below to view the complete mission, vision and values statements of each U.S. retail chain founded by a devoutly religious leader, along with information about each of the retail company’s history and U.S. headquarters..  The list of religious retail company mission statements below is arranged alphabetically, according to the company name.

 

Chick-fil-A's Mission to Glorify God

Like Hobby Lobby (below), Chick-fil-A keeps the doors of its retail stores closed on Sundays bfor religious reasons.  And like the leaders of almost every religious-based retail company, CEO Dan Cathy created controversy when he took a religious stand against a political issue.

 Cathy publicly denounced gay marriage on religious principles and created both a public relations and human resources firestorm... complete Chick-fil-A mission statement >> 

H-E-B’s Religious Roots 

When he was in charge and actively running the H-E-B grocery store chain he founded, the religious beliefs of Howard E.Butt could be seen in the policies of his retail stores which weren’t open on Sundays and didn’t sell alcohol.  Even though those business practices changed almost 40 years ago, H-E-B is still considered to be a religious-based business primarily because it donates 5% of its pre-tax profits to charity ...  complete H-E-B mission statement >>

The Hobby Lobby Mission to Honor the Lord

Hobby Lobby’s founder David Green openly and unapologetically leads his company based on his own Christian beliefs.  The Hobby Lobby mission statement makes direct reference to Christian principles, and clearly intends to align all stakeholders with biblical principles.  Green demonstrates his personal commitment to his Christian-based business by keeping his retail stores closed on Sundays.

 In 2012 Green also launched a Freedom of Religion based  lawsuit against the U.S. government in protest over the requirement to provide insurance coverage for “emergency contraceptives,” which is against his religion... complete Hobby Lobby mission statement >> 

Retail Unto Others As You Would Like JCPenney to Retail Unto You

The son of a minister, James Cash Penney believed strongly in the philosophy of The Golden Rule.  So it's no wonder that one of his first retail jobs was as a clerk in a store with the same name - The Golden Rule.  It was his belief in the the Golden Rule philosophy that allowed Penney to flourish with that company, and rise quickly from stock clerk to owner-partner in that retail company.  

By embracing the values of honesty and trust with both his employees and his customers, Penney built both loyalty and a good reputation, which he used as the platform to grow his own chain of namesake jcpenney branded retail stores.  Today the jcpenney chain is not considered to be a religious-based company, but it still has a strong set of guiding principles that guide its employees to live and work with the spirit of The Golden Rule which so strongly guided the jcpenney founder... complete jcpenney mission statement >>  

Whole Foods Mission - Neither Conservative Nor Christian

Whole Foods founder John Mackey didn’t study retailing or business management in college.  Instead Mackey studied philosophy and religion at the University of Texas - Austin.  Where there are no specific religious references in the Whole Foods Company Mission Statement and Core Values, Mackey is reportedly a practicing Buddhist and the Whole Foods way of doing business is aligned with Buddhist beliefs... complete Whole Foods Mission Statement >>

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