Christian Retailing

Illinois Family store kept from closing Print Email
Written by Christine D. Johnson   
Tuesday, 03 June 2014 04:24 PM America/New_York

Local faith community helps reverse chain’s decision

FC_Logo_PV_4c_200Family Christian Stores has announced that its South Holland, Ill., store will remain open, thanks to the efforts of Mayor Don De Graff, landlord Ralph Edgar and the Rev. Glenn Bone. The store at 550 E. 162nd St. was set to close, but will remain open in its current location.

The store in the Village of South Holland had announced it would close May 31. However, after a rallying of the village’s clergy, mayor, business leaders and residents, the store has been saved.

“As soon as I heard that there was some possibility of Family Christian closing, I knew immediately that it should not happen,” Edgar said.

Pastor Bone said that the store played “an intricate part in the lives of my family and many of the families that we serve,” and added that “we look forward to working with them.”

The town’s motto—“Faith, Family, Future”—is prominently displayed on the water towers in South Holland. De Graff said that these values encompass every aspect of the community he’s served since 1994.

“We are proud and thankful for the retail stores in our community, especially as it relates to the history and quality of the Family Christian stores.” De Graff said. “We want to create quality opportunities for our business partners. We really want Family Christian to be a part of the Village of South Holland because of who we are as a community and the products that [Family Christian] sells.”
Edgar said that when the community heard of the possibility of the store closing, it set off a wave of communication within the faith community.

“I know Family Christian corporate heard from so many of our South Holland residents who were urging Family Christian not to close,” the mayor said.

Family Christian President and CEO Cliff Bartow commended the community for taking a stand for the store, one of the chain’s 270 stores in 36 states.

“Just look at what the South Holland leaders and community did,” Bartow said. “Their support and desire to do good are inspiring. Together we will work to provide resources that help people find, grow, share and celebrate their faith in Jesus Christ.”

Steve Johnson, senior marketing manager for the chain, said that the chain is “grateful for the privilege” of working with leaders who are helping Family “ensure that South Holland families would continue to have ready access to the faith resources they need.”

Edgar said that the mayor and his staff are “making the community well aware of how valuable it is to have Family Christian here.” —Johnson