Tuesday, 12 April 2011 04:19 PM EDT
message from Geni Hulsey, president of the Church Bookstore Network:
it ever frustrate you that almost everything in our lives, it seems,
is computer-driven? The other day my phone was not allowing me to
read my email, so I called my IT department—my son—to ask him
what was wrong.
solution: “Reboot it, mom.” What? I thought it was a phone? Oh,
no, it is a computer.
least once a month my (real) computer locks up and I am reminded of
the words of our IT guy at Houston’s First Baptist Church: “Don’t
call me until you have rebooted at least twice.”
now, it seems as though much of retail is in a non-operational mode.
Those who are managing stores have tried nearly every “trick in the
trade,” so to speak, to economically jump-start their businesses.
are choosing to close their stores, conceding that things are
shifting too quickly and in such a way that they just can’t adjust.
Some churches are doing the same thing with their stores. One pastor
said: “It just did not work out the way I thought it would and with
the e-books coming on strong. … ”
is frustration and questions everywhere you turn. I think it is time
to reboot this system.
a couple of weeks' time, retailers will meet in Orlando, Fla., at the
lovely Florida Hotel and Convention Center to do just that, at
Retailing ReBoot 2011.
leadership of the Christian retail and publishing industry is just as
concerned about the present situation as those who stand behind the
counters, order and stock the books, and pay the bills.
of them will be at Retailing ReBoot to share their wisdom and
insights with us.
will be great discussions about how technology is affecting book
sales, how gifts are impacting sales and how best to give them a
presence in your store, and how vital customer service is to the life
of your store.
thing I have learned about this industry is that some of the greatest
ideas come from those who are on the frontlines, those who deal with
the customers each day. There will be many times during the seminars,
panel discussions and mealtime focus sessions that everyone will have
opportunity to share their own “reboot” experiences.
part of our lives that needs “rebooting” on a consistent basis is
our spirits. We get tired, in a hurry and forget to feed the very
part of us that is the source of productivity, creativity and hope.
At Retailing ReBoot, there will also be times of spiritual refreshing
that will encourage you to continue on the path on which God has led
is not too late for you to be part of the event. It has been planned
to be very compact this year and you will only need to be away two
nights. The dates are April 26-28—just go to
will find the schedule, the vendors, the seminars, hotel information
and registration form that you can submit online or by fax.
greatest thing is the fellowship and the friends that you will make
and how you will share with and encourage each other, not just in
these three days, but all year round.
can’t wait to see you!
Tuesday, 12 April 2011 04:13 PM EDT
chairman George Thomsen is among retailers due to be sharing ideas
and advice at
Retailing ReBoot 2011, April 26-28 at the Florida Hotel and
Conference Center in Orlando, Fla.
general manager of the award-winning The Harvest Bookstore at Harvest
Christian Fellowship in Riverside, Calif., is scheduled to join other
store representatives, consultants and suppliers to discuss issues at
a series of roundtable sessions at the event themed “Engaging
the topics to be addressed are Bible and book categories, the impact
of digital publishing and customer service and experience. There will
also be worship and inspirational messages and a suppliers' exhibit
area. The program will also include an authors' reception and the
announcement of the winners of the magazine's 2011 Retailers Choice
organized solely for church stores and formerly called The Gathering,
the event has been renamed this year to reflect its inclusion of
independent retailers and the need for stores to "reset"
for the future, said Christian
old ways of running things don't meet the current challenges and
future needs of the industry," Condiff said. "But smart
stores are being proactive about making changes. We want to come
together to learn from and encourage each other."
more information on Retailing ReBoot 2011.
Tuesday, 12 April 2011 04:10 PM EDT
church bookstore leader Janet McKinley has taken over the retail
reins at a third pastor-author’s congregation.
has been appointed manager of The Bookstore at First Baptist Church,
Atlanta, where Charles Stanley has served for more than 40 years. His
In Touch program broadcasts internationally and he is the
author of more than 30 books.
began her new job in December, after five years as assistant manager
and buyer at the bookstore at Joel Osteen's Lakewood Church in
Houston. The store was named The Church Bookstore's Church
Bookstore of the Year in 2007. Prior to that, McKinley was manager of
the bookstore at Ed Young's Fellowship Church in Grapevine, Texas.
3,000-square-foot store at First Baptist, Atlanta is located near the
Dunwoody church’s worship center and is staffed by paid employees
and volunteers. In addition to Stanley's books and sermons—available
on CD and DVD—the store sells other books, Bibles, gifts and
really want to grow the church store, and we want to do some outreach
programs through the bookstore, to become a destination store for the
area because there’s no other Christian bookstore around,”
Tuesday, 12 April 2011 04:07 PM EDT
shoppers come in two kinds. The first is a customer who knows exactly
which title they want. This is the sort of person who keeps lists of
the books they want to read, or have read, and buys books on a
regular basis. They are a store's best special-order customers.
second kind of book buyer is the person who has no idea what to read,
and perhaps lacks the confidence to select a book on their own. These
are the customers who really need, and are eager for, a helpful
are some ways you can help shoppers, and increase sales, by pointing
visitors to particular titles and products.
Create a special section highlighting materials recommended by
church staff members or other leaders in the church. Titles can
include books, DVDs or CDs. This section should be clearly marked
each book face-out, with a small sign that lists the title and
author, the name of the staff person, their title or job and a
sentence or two detailing why they recommend the item. Depending on
exactly how the book is displayed, you can use a small acrylic
stand-up sign holder or an acrylic shelf sign holder to hold the
by a pastor are particularly influential. We compile our “staff
recs” list by emailing staff members a couple of times a year to
ask for their input. Even though most church staff are busy people,
we have found most more than willing to contribute.
easy to get started with a staff recommendation area—the key is to
maintain it. That requires some follow-up and consistency by
Summer reading programs are a great way to recommend titles to
young readers and their parents. Each year, we partner with our
children’s ministry program to sponsor summer reading. Children
keep track of time they spend reading and come into the store to
record their minutes.
can select a small prize—a novelty, sticker or some candy—each
time they come in and also enter their names for a monthly drawing
for larger prizes, usually books. There is also a drawing at the end
of the summer for a grand prize.
Many stores have a separate display of best-selling books.
Although they don't have the "personal touch" of an
endorsement by someone they may know, these lists tell shoppers that
the books are important in a different way, because so many other
people are reading them.
can find several category lists in each issue of
Christian Retailing magazine,
the Web sites of CBA and the Evangelical Christian Publishers
and www.ecpa.org). Some publishers and distributors have lists of
their own, too.
from special displays, it's also important to have several titles in
each category and/or that staff are ready to recommend when they get
into conversation with a shopper. When someone comes in for a book to
read on vacation, they don’t just want to hear, “The fiction
section is over there,” or, “The grief books are on this shelf."
want someone to pick up a book and say, “I really enjoyed this one
because … ” or, “I’m hearing great things about that one,”
or “This has been a blessing for many people."
Macias is manager of Books of Hope at Community of Hope Church in
Tuesday, 12 April 2011 04:04 PM EDT
underestimate the impact of a simple takeaway to touch a life. Church
members and visitors alike may appreciate a visual reminder of being
at your church, in the form of something bearing the church name. At
Ebenezer Gift Shop at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta—historic
home to the late Dr. Martin Luther King—“people want something
with the Ebenezer name on it,” said Manager Oliver Huff. Among
products the store carries are totes, T-shirts, mugs, key chains,
pencils and magnets.
Tuesday, 12 April 2011 03:59 PM EDT
our store, we offer discounts to church ministries. Is 40% too much?
percentage of discount given by church stores to other church
ministries varies from store to store. Store philosophy determines
the percentage of discounts, but common sense should not be
all inventory is purchased with the same discount, so a good business
rule is to not give equal discounts for all products. For example, a
book secured direct from the publisher might have an entirely
different discount than the same book being purchased from a
distributor. The difference could run as much as 15%-20%. But if the
discount to the ministry never changes, then the profit the store
receives varies book by book.
your store is responsible for paying its own employees, buying its
own inventory and any other operating expenses, then discounts are a
a question for Betty Bookstore? Write to her at
Tuesday, 12 April 2011 02:59 PM EDT
parents say and do when it comes to charitable giving and
volunteering can plant seeds of generosity in their children,
according to new research.
behavior had more influence than religion, politics, race, household
income or any other measured factors on the generosity of today’s
Americans, reports Heart of the Donor, an in-depth
study commissioned by Russ Reid Company of Pasadena, Calif., and
conducted by Grey Matter Research & Consulting (GMRC) of Phoenix.
the research doesn’t show an absolute one-to-one correlation, in
real terms today’s volunteers are 125% more likely to have come
from parents who encouraged their children to volunteer, and 145%
more likely to have come from parents who frequently volunteered than
they are to have come from parents who really never did those
things,” said Ron Sellers, GMRC president.
were asked how often their parents or the people who raised them
engaged in 10 different behaviors while they were growing up, such as
volunteering, making charitable donations and talking to their
children about these behaviors.
majority said that their parents frequently took them to worship
services, encouraged them to save money (61%) and personally donated
to a church or place of worship (52%). Almost half (46%) said their
parents regularly talked to them about how to handle money wisely.
activity related to donating and volunteering, other than giving
money to a place of worship, was much less frequent. One-third said
their parents frequently volunteered with a place of worship, with
another 28% saying their parents did this occasionally.
people who reported their parents frequently giving money to a place
of worship when they were growing up, 55% said they had personally
given money to a place of worship in the last year. Of those whose
parents were frequent volunteers, 49% had volunteered with a
nonprofit organization in the past 12 months.
Grey Matter Research & Consulting
the full report at
Tuesday, 12 April 2011 02:57 PM EDT
do you handle recordings of your pastor's message? How quickly is it
available after the service? How do you catalog each one and how many
pastor sermons do you have available in-store? How do you promote
your experiences and ideas with others. Write to
Tuesday, 12 April 2011 02:55 PM EDT
the wise and they will be wiser still; teach the righteous and they
will add to their learning.”
9:9, New International Version
Wednesday, 16 March 2011 09:52 AM EDT
A message from Geni Hulsey, president of the Church
made your reservations for Retailing ReBoot 2011? The event, to be held
April 26-28 in Orlando, Fla., gives church stores and others the opportunity to
come together for fellowship, worship, education and an opportunity to buy from
some of the greatest vendors ever.