Christian Retailing

NEWSLETTERS Current Issue Family Christian finds ‘likeminded ownership’ in buyout
Family Christian finds ‘likeminded ownership’ in buyout PDF Print E-mail
Written by Christine D. Johnson   
Friday, 16 November 2012 12:17 PM EST

Family Christian Stores plans to give 100% of its profits to benefit Christian causes, mainly ministries serving widows and orphans, under the chain’s new ownership announced yesterday. The 280-store chain that employs about 4,000 people will continue its operations in a largely “seamless” way, said CEO Cliff Bartow.

In the buyout, Family’s management team partnered with a group of Atlanta-based Christian businessmen to acquire the company from its private equity owners. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. 

Family Christian reported that while its ownership structure and financial purpose has changed, there will be no impact on core operations, stores or staff.

While the investors live in the Atlanta area, the chain will continue operating out of its Grand Rapids, Mich., base. The investment group includes Richard L. Jackson, founder and CEO of Jackson Healthcare, the nation’s third-largest health-care staffing company; Larry Powell, president of Powell Family Enterprises, a private equity investment company; and Michael Kendrick, founder of Blueprint for Life and Ministry Ventures, a nonprofit organization dedicated to launching new ministries.

“Each of these men have been blessed with professional success and share a mutual calling to give back to help those in need,” Bartow said. “This alignment of business acumen and Christian calling led them to the collective decision to join with us to acquire Family Christian and move it from an organization that contributes 10% of its profits to one that contributes 100% of its profits to faith-based charities and ministries.”

Private equity-owned since 1994, the company was founded in 1932. Family was “interested in getting off the private equity treadmill,” Bartow told Christian Retailing, so when he met the investors through his work with orphans, the option came to the fore. “We were looking for likeminded ownership,” he said.

Profits will be coursed through Family’s nonprofit James Fund. 

“It’s really important that the associates of Family Christian that are involved in these nonprofits to have the ability to direct and have a voice in where the money goes because it’s really important that money goes where you have some interest and activity,” said Jackson, now sole member of James Fund. 

“Literally we’ve touched millions of orphans’ lives over the last eight years,” Bartow added, “and we’ve given away about $7 million since its inception in 2004.”

Donating 100% of profits means that management still will be focused on how business is going.

“Since we’re giving 100% of our profits away, we want to invest our capital in ways that maximizes our ability to give in the future, and if that means spending capital on new stores, we’ll do that,” Bartow said. “If it means spending it on other things that can grow our revenues in better ways, then we would invest it in that fashion.”

 Family continues to be committed to its brick-and-mortar “lifestyle stores,” Bartow said, though e-commerce is also excelling. Customers will also find four new digital devices in its stores starting next week in time for the Christmas season. The company has partnered with Kobo to utilize its technology as a digital leader and has chosen to drop its recently introduced Edifi e-reader.

Family is opening two new stores today, one in the Philadelphia area, its first in that market, and another in St. Joseph, Mo. Another location will open in Tuscon, Ariz., in January.

 
Read the Vacation Bible School 2014 guide

In this current issue:

Author Ergun Caner’s son reportedly commits suicide

News image

Ergun Caner's 15-year-old son apparently committed suicide July 29. Caner...

READ MORE

LifeWay stores partner with Shoes for Orphan Souls to aid needy

News image

LifeWay Christian Stores is joining forces with Shoes for Orphan...

READ MORE

Abingdon Press re-evaluates publishing programs beyond 2015

News image

Abingdon Press, an imprint of The United Methodist Publishing House,...

READ MORE

Kendrick Brothers wrap first film independent of Sherwood Pictures

News image

Alex and Stephen Kendrick—creators of hit faith films Fireproof and...

READ MORE

HarperCollins Christian launches Bible training portal for retailers

News image

HarperCollins Christian Publishing, the corporate home to Thomas Nelson and...

READ MORE

Carpentree announces store winner of ICRS product drawing

News image

A video testimonial made by Brenda Harrison, owner of Lighthouse...

READ MORE

CBA invites exhibitors for ICRS 2015 preview

News image

Exhibitors for the 2015 International Christian Retail Show (ICRS) are...

READ MORE

Former Gospel Light President Bill Greig launches new Churchgrowth.org company

News image

Former Gospel Light President Bill Greig III and his wife,...

READ MORE

Bobby Bowden, Darrell Waltrip to appear at LifeWay's The Main Event

News image

LifeWay’s Conference for Men known as “The Main Event” will...

READ MORE

Novelist Wanda Brunstetter to visit Pennsylvania stores

News image

New York Times best-selling author Wanda E. Brunstetter will visit Pennsylvania...

READ MORE

Publicists: Inform retailers of your fall releases

News image

Christian Retailing magazine is requesting product information on October and...

READ MORE

About a Mile garners 2014’s highest-selling debut from new artist

News image

Adam, Luke and Levi Klutinoty—three brothers collectively known as About...

READ MORE
100%
-
+
0
Show options

a