I have a friend that used to be a trainer at petsmart. On several occassions she had to tell people that they could NOT bring wolf-hybrid dogs into the store. It is against store policy to have any hybrid animal in the store (cat or dog). So I don't get why the workers missed it, unless it was just so crowded that they didn't notice that a lady with a bobcat had come in the store.
I wouldn't put one of my domestic cats in that situation (stranger, dogs, loud noises, unfamiliar place), much less a wild animal (with all-the-more intact instincts.
Usually the "santas" at petsmart are an employee from that store...so perhaps this was some high school student that wouldn't recognize a bob cat....I know I had a petsmart employee (high school student) that asked me if a "java fern" was a "fish".
The owner, store, and "santa" were all in the wrong here IMO.