Christian Retailing

NEWSLETTERS Current Issue Cokesbury stores to close, 'transition initiative' announced
Cokesbury stores to close, 'transition initiative' announced PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 06 November 2012 11:21 AM EST

The United Methodist Publishing House (UMPH), Cokesbury's parent company, will close all of the historic chain's 57 stores by April 30, 2013.

Announcing the move Nov. 5, the UMPH board of directors said it will launch "a transition initiative" for its retail division. CokesburyNext will redirect focus and resources toward expanding and enhancing products and services at Cokesbury.com, the Cokesbury Call Center and through more than 40 sales representatives. The chain will be closing its 38 brick-and-mortar locations and 19 seminary stores, with the first shuttering in January.

"Cokesbury has been serving for more than 200 years, and during that time has continuously adapted to the changing landscape affecting congregations and their leaders," said UMPH President and Publisher Neil Alexander. "A shift toward all things digital and the convenience of placing orders at any time is the reality of Cokesbury today. It is difficult to see the closure of Cokesbury local stores, but doing so will allow us to make a greater investment in the ways of shopping with Cokesbury that customers increasingly prefer."

UMPH officials said 185 full-time employees and 100-plus part-time staff will be laid off by the store closings. UMPH will provide both severance packages and job search services for staff.

Cokesbury, which offers resources for congregations, seminaries, church leaders, study groups and individuals, has seen a steady increase in sales through Cokesbury.com and its Cokesbury Call Center operation in the past 10 years.

At the same time, the number of Cokesbury customers relying solely on store locations has steadily declined. In the most recent customer survey, only 15% of Cokesbury's customers reported shopping exclusively in stores, UMPH officials said. As a result of changes in the industry and the consumer shift to digital shopping and purchasing, the local stores are no longer financially viable.

Click here for more information on CokesburyNext.

 

In this current issue:

Zondervan hosts dinner for NIV’s 50th

News image

Zondervan, Biblica and the Committee on Bible Translation welcomed more...

READ MORE

Munce partners with SuzyQ to host writers conference

News image

The Munce Group and SuzyQ have announced a new writers...

READ MORE

Fire destroys Los Angeles Christian store

News image

A Christian retail store was gutted by fire Friday evening,...

READ MORE

Family Christian partners to assist widows for Thanksgiving

News image

Family Christian Stores has announced its partnership with author Miriam...

READ MORE

LifeWay to stay closed Thanksgiving

News image

While the "war on Christmas" generates more headlines, Thanksgiving has...

READ MORE

Britt Beemer: Retailers ‘control their own destinies’

News image

The mood of the American consumer is surprisingly gloomy, according...

READ MORE

GMA Canada presents Covenant Awards

News image

The Gospel Music Association (GMA) Canada honored singer-songwriter Dan Bremnes...

READ MORE

Holley Gerth’s ‘Amazing’ becomes best-seller

News image

Holley Gerth’s You’re Already Amazing (Revell/Baker Publishing Group) has landed...

READ MORE

Hachette to set e-book prices under new Amazon deal

News image

Hachette Book Group and Amazon announced Thursday that the companies...

READ MORE

Nazarene Publishing House restructures

News image

Nazarene Publishing House (NPH) will not close for business, but...

READ MORE

Harlequin ends Heartsong Presents fiction line

News image

Harlequin is ending the Heartsong Presents line it acquired in...

READ MORE

Christian retailers to participate in Small Business Saturday

News image

Nov. 29 is “Small Business Saturday,” a promotion that urges...

READ MORE
100%
-
+
0
Show options

a