Christian Retailing

'Thou Shalt Laugh 5' in Christian stores PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 13 June 2011 01:44 PM EDT
Thou Shalt Laugh 5 was recently released on DVD by Grace Hill Media, and is distributed by Provident-Integrity Distribution.
Bible giveaways see ‘great response’· PDF Print E-mail
Written by Eric Tiansay   
Monday, 13 June 2011 10:04 AM EDT

Scott-Reed-Military-Bibles-7-good-oneRetailer and publisher campaigns focus on ministry, outreach opportunities


With heightened general public attention on God’s Word this year due to the King James Version’s 400th anniversary, retailers and publishers are seeing a good response to initiatives to help get the Bible in as many hands as possible with giveaways and promotions.

Among the efforts is one led by a bookstore manager for the second-largest Christian chain in the country, which has donated thousands of Bibles to military personnel overseas. 

Scott Reed, manager of the LifeWay Christian Store in Conyers, Ga., who served in the U.S. Air Force as a staff sergeant in a security team detail 20 years ago, began asking customers in October 2010 if they would like to donate a Bible to “a wounded warrior” recovering at an American military hospital outside of Ramstein Air Base in Landstuhl, Germany.

“The response has been overwhelming,” Reed, a Gulf War veteran, told Christian Retailing. “I had an original vision to provide 200 Bibles from our store, but it has turned into thousands of Bibles.”

The Wounded Warriors Ministry Project (WWMP), an initiative of the store’s Military Chaplain Outreach Program, has grown to include eight other LifeWay stores and a church in Conyers.

 Reed’s campaign is separate from CBA’s Operation Worship Bible initiative with Tyndale House Publishers, in which nearly 800,000 units have been sold in the Christian retail channel and sent overseas to American military personnel since it began in 2008. The campaign is expected to reach a million units sold in the next 12-18 months, Tyndale officials said.

 Similar in concept to the Operation Worship Bible effort, Tyndale launched the Inspire Life Bible Campaign to coincide with this year’s Sanctity of Human Life Sunday on Jan. 23—a partnership with Care Net Pregnancy Centers and Christian retailers—to provide free Bibles for pregnant women who are pondering an abortion. 

Running through May, the initiative invites customers to donate a copy of Tyndale House’s Beautiful Everyday—a softcover edition of the New Living Translation, which retails for $5.99. 

“We have had a great response from Christian retail, selling over 200,000 Bibles,” Tyndale House Publishers National Sales Director John Johnson told Christian Retailing. “We had many stores sell 500, 700 and even 1,000 Bibles. … Not only did the customers in Christian retail stores respond wholeheartedly to this outreach, but all of the sales occurred within less than 12 weeks.”

Elsewhere, Thomas Nelson has launched a Christian retail channel promotion to help a Christian humanitarian organization end poverty and preventable deaths among children in the United States and abroad. Through the God’s Word in Action “Buy a Bible, Help a Child” promotion, sales of Nelson Bibles—including children’s and Spanish-language versions—will support World Vision.

Nelson will donate a minimum of $75,000 to World Vision, with the potential for more based on sales from the promotion. When World Vision combines Nelson’s donation with matching grant funds and corporate donations, the donation multiplies four times, company officials said.

“Based on our fiscal plan for the upcoming year and matching grant funds, we have set an overall goal to provide more than $1 million to help children through World Vision,” said Nelson’s vice president and publisher for Bibles, Gary Davidson.

Funds generated by the promotion will provide immunizations, prenatal and ongoing medical care, vitamins and deworming medications, bed nets for malaria prevention and food.

Launched in April, the promotion is part of Nelson’s God’s Word in Action campaign, which is inspired by Ps. 82:3: “Stand up for the poor and the orphan; advocate for the rights of the afflicted and those in need” (The Voice). 

Meanwhile, Zondervan made 1 million free online downloads of the entire updated New International Version (NIV) text available in the lead up to the March print arrival. Demand for the new NIV prompted the publisher to increase its original print run of 1.4 million to 1.9 million copies of various products. The print releases followed the debut of the updated NIV eBible, released in December 2010. It has become the fastest-selling e-book in Zondervan’s history, with more than 50,000 units sold to date. 

LifeWay’s Reed said that customers donating a $5 Bible for the WWMP has not hurt sales at his store. 

“When we ask our customers if they want to donate a Bible, seven out of 10 times they would say, ‘Absolutely,’ ” he said. “It’s helping sales, but it’s certainly not our motivation. If we put ministry first, the sales will naturally follow. We were able to sell far more of the $5 Bibles because there’s a ministry behind it.”

Reed said that more than 2,000 Bibles have been donated and are in the process of being “deployed” to the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center (LRMC) in Landstuhl. “The donated Bibles are absolutely making a difference,” he said.

Bradford Phillips, a U.S. Air Force chaplain in the Wounded Warrior Ministry Center at LRMC, wrote in an email to LifeWay that “we can’t keep enough nice Bibles here.”

Bibles “are always needed,” Phillips said. “When we get to the floors, we always ask each warrior if they need a Bible and a devotional. At least 50% of the time, the answer is ‘yes.’ ”

Global markets champion to step down PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 10 June 2011 03:07 PM EDT
A major change in leadership in the global Christian products market will take place at the International Christian Retail Show (ICRS), next month, when Jim Powell steps down as president of Christian Trade Association International (CTAI).
RBTE 'a great show' PDF Print E-mail
Written by Eric Tiansay   
Thursday, 09 June 2011 02:00 PM EDT
Organizers of the Religious Booksellers Trade Exhibit (RBTE) convention reported a good turnout among retailers and steady sales for vendors for the 20th annual gathering, held June 1-3 [started May 31, according to] at the Pheasant Run Resort in the Chicago suburb of St. Charles, Ill.
KJV birthday draws attention PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 09 June 2011 01:56 PM EDT
There has been heightened general-public attention on God's Word this year due to the King James Version's (KJV) 400th anniversary, according to the world's leading publisher of KJV Bibles.
Christian publishers' BEA buzz PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 09 June 2011 01:48 PM EDT
Signaling a positive outlook on the economy, Christian publishers increased personnel for the U.S. book world's biggest event, held last month in New York City. Like last year, Book Expo America (BEA) drew about 17 Christian publishers to the May 23-26 event at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center.
Children’s Bible sales strong PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 09 June 2011 01:40 PM EDT
Children's Bibles are one of the trickier Bible subcategories, according to publishers and retailers who have to balance multiple factors—from price point and presentation to in-store placement—to find their sweet spot.
'New Hallelujah' tops SoundScan PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 09 June 2011 01:35 PM EDT
A New Hallelujah by Michael W. Smith (Reunion Records/Provident-Integrity Distribution) replaced One True God by NewSong (HHM Records/EMI CMG Distribution) atop the SoundScan's Christian/gospel music Christian retail chart for sales the week ending May 29, while Heroes of the Bible! Lions, Shepherds and Queens, VeggieTales (Big Idea/Word Distribution) still held the top spot on the Christian Videos list.
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