|LifeWay to acquire Berean’s 17 stores|
|Written by Jeremy Burns|
|Friday, 23 August 2013 08:37 AM EDT|
LifeWay Christian Stores has begun the process of acquiring Berean Christian Stores, a 17-store chain. Berean’s stores are located primarily in California, Arizona and the Midwest with corporate headquarters in Cincinnati.
“This is a tremendous opportunity,” said Thom S. Rainer, president of LifeWay Christian Resources, parent company of LifeWay Christian Stores. “Berean, like LifeWay, is known for their commitment to serving church customers. This acquisition will significantly increase LifeWay’s opportunities for ministry across the country.”
LifeWay currently owns 163 stores in 26 states, and will increase to 180 stores in 28 states after finalizing the acquisition.
Tim Vineyard, president of the LifeWay Christian Stores division, said his staff are eagerly looking forward to serving customers in the new markets.
“Berean’s mission and product mix are generally very compatible with LifeWay’s, although, of course, we will be making some changes in keeping with our current standards,” Vineyard said.
Berean Christian Stores was started in 1934, and purchased by Joseph and Deanna Gimelli in 2009.
“Berean’s corporate and local store staffs have been excellent partners in selling B&H Publishing’s books and Bibles,” Vineyard said. “If the acquisition goes as planned, we’ll have 17 more stores for all of LifeWay’s Bible studies, church supplies and other resources.”
Along with LifeWay stores, B&H Publishing Group is owned by Nashville-based LifeWay Christian Resources.
“This will be good for both parties involved,” said Bill Nielsen, former COO of Berean and former top executive at LifeWay. “Over the last 16 months, Berean has shown strong improvement in virtually every business metric, and with the backing of LifeWay, their stores will only do better.”
Vineyard said the acquisition should close next month, and LifeWay staff will begin immediately transitioning the Berean stores to LifeWay Christian Stores.