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.

 
Read the Vacation Bible School 2014 guide

In this current issue:

‘Living Bible’ to receive first-ever Quadruple Diamond Award

News image

The Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA) will present Diamond Awards...

READ MORE

Jack Countryman, late Brennan Manning to receive Lifetime Achievement awards

News image

The Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA) will present Jordon Lifetime...

READ MORE

Multimillion-selling ‘90 Minutes in Heaven’ to get 10th-anniversary edition

News image

Baker Publishing Group is celebrating sales of more than 6...

READ MORE

MercyMe album lands highest ‘Billboard 200’ debut of week

News image

MercyMe’s Welcome to the New nabs the highest debut of the...

READ MORE

Beverly Lewis’ latest becomes ‘New York Times’ best-seller

News image

Amish-fiction pioneer Beverly Lewis’ The Last Bride (Bethany House/Baker Publishing Group) debuted at No....

READ MORE

Chris Tomlin leads Christian finalists for Billboard Music Awards

News image

Chris Tomlin leads Christian artists in finalist nods for the...

READ MORE

Country star Josh Turner to hold debut book signing at LifeWay

News image

Country music superstar Josh Turner will sign copies of his first book,...

READ MORE

Crossway, LifeWay send ESV Bibles to Liberia

News image

Crossway has partnered with LifeWay and Together for the Gospel (T4G)...

READ MORE

Convergent publisher addresses gay-book controversy

News image

Convergent Books, an imprint of Random House’s Crown Publishing Group,...

READ MORE

Baker Publishing Group to acquire Regal Books

News image

Gospel Light has entered into a Letter of Intent to...

READ MORE

Send The Light Distribution celebrates 40 years

News image

Send The Light Distribution is launching a year of celebration...

READ MORE

Convergent Books plans pro-gay book

News image

Convergent Books, an imprint of Random House's Crown Publishing Group,...

READ MORE
100%
-
+
0
Show options

a