Wholesale Christian Books reports business is 'thriving and growing in every direction'
A Christian remainder house based in the Midwest has opened a permanent showroom in New York City to meet growing demand.
Touted as the world's largest distributor of discount Christian media, Wholesale Christian Books (WCB) launched its 600-square-foot showroom in May, featuring approximately 2,000 titles.
"We decided to open a showroom in New York because many of our current and prospective customers travel there to buy books on a regular basis," Jerry Bloom, president of the Racine, Wisc.-based company, told Christian Retailing.
In operation for about three years, WCB's Racine facility has more than 50,000 square feet. With an inventory of more than a million books, the company carries 13,000-plus titles from more than two-dozen Christian publishers.
"We sell to everyone from independent Christian bookstore start-ups to Amazon.com,” Bloom said. "Most recently, we (began) partnering with nontraditional book retailers like Ross, DD's Discounts and Citi Trends."
He added that the secular non-book companies were "doing well" with inspirational products, including women’s devotionals, Bibles and Bible covers.
"Our partnership with nontraditional booksellers has really been the favor of God," Bloom said. "A few of these companies decided to try some titles, and now they are a top-selling category in most of their stores. I really love that we get to share the kingdom with not only thousands of end users through this channel, but also that our customers receive favor and profitability from God-centered products."
Bloom added that the company expands its visibility by exhibiting at various trade shows, including Book Expo America, The London Book Fair, International Christian Retail Show and Chicago International Remainder and Overstock Book Exposition (CIROBE).
"Our business is thriving and growing in every direction," he said. "I have hope for Christian publishing and Christian retail. I believe that it is a key time for the industry to help train business people on how to adapt to the current business environment. Integrating bargain products into retail stores is a key way to produce store traffic and profits in any economy."
Meanwhile, the dates for the Inspirational Value Book Show (IVBS)—the only bargain show for the Christian book industry—has been announced. The third annual event is set for Jan. 13-14, 2010 in Nashville.
Despite cold weather and a down economy, vendors' sales and retailer attendance increased for the show earlier this year. Held Jan. 14-16 in Nashville, IVBS drew 20 exhibitors—up from 16 vendors who participated at the inaugural show last year. The event attracted 65 stores and 106 representatives, compared to 41 stores and 65 representatives from the 2008 show, organizers said.
Scheduled to exhibit at the 2010 show, David C. Cook, Harvest House Publishers, Moody Publishers, Whitaker House and Zondervan were among the publishers who had booths at this year's IVBS.