Christian Retailing

Publishers announce restructurings Print Email
Written by Staff   
Monday, 08 June 2009 01:24 PM America/New_York
Harrison House, Bridge-Logos make changes for long-term future

Two leading charismatic publishers have restructured their operations to ensure their long-term viability.

Six months after filing voluntary bankruptcy, Harrison House Publishers in April announced “a new beginning” for the Tulsa, Okla.-based company.

John Howard leaves company founded by his father Print Email
Written by Eric Tiansay   
Monday, 08 June 2009 01:21 PM America/New_York
Resignation announced as Howard Books is relocated to Nashville from Louisiana

John Howard—who continued to serve as vice president and publisher after Christian publishing veteran Jonathan Merkh recently joined Howard Books—has left the company founded by his father.

Howard announced his resignation, effective May 1, in mid-April as Simon & Schuster revealed plans to move Howard Books—its Christian imprint—to Nashville from West Monroe, La.

ECPA pulls plug on CBE Print Email
Written by Staff   
Monday, 08 June 2009 01:20 PM America/New_York
But support lingers for revised consumer event, as publishers are asked to help cover losses

The Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA) has decided not to repeat its consumer-focused Christian Book Expo (CBE)—for now, at least.

Following dismal attendance for the March 20-22 event at the Dallas Convention Center—where registrations were a tenth the 15,000 that had been projected—the publishers group has canceled its provisional 2010 booking of the venue.

But interest in the idea—intended to help raise awareness of Christian books—remains strong among some publishers who participated, said ECPA President Mark Kuyper, who announced the no-go at the association’s Executive Leadership Summit (ELS) and Annual Member Meeting at the Sheraton Carlsbad Resort & Spa in Carlsbad, Calif., in April.

Steven Curtis Chapman earns top honors at Dove awards Print Email
Written by Staff   
Monday, 08 June 2009 01:18 PM America/New_York
Most decorated singer and songwriter in Christian music garners two trophies as fans get first chance to choose best of year

Steven Curtis Chapman collected two trophies during the 40th Annual Gospel Music Association (GMA) Dove Awards, capping an emotional year for the most decorated singer and songwriter in Christian music.

Chapman, who was named Songwriter of the Year as well as Artist of the Year for the seventh time, has collected five GRAMMY Awards and 56 Doves in his two-decade career. His 5-year-old daughter, Maria Sue, was killed in May 2008 when she was accidentally hit by a vehicle driven by her older brother in the driveway of the family’s home in Nashville.

Attendance significantly down for GMA Music Week Print Email
Written by Cameron Conant   
Monday, 08 June 2009 01:16 PM America/New_York
But retailers and music professionals had ‘sense of camaraderie’ at annual Nashville gathering

Despite efforts to attract attendees by lowering registration rates and offering seminars on financial management to address an unstable music environment, attendance was significantly down at this year’s Gospel Music Association (GMA) Music Week. But the annual gathering was “very beneficial” for retailers and music professionals, GMA officials said.

Held April 18-22 and culminating with the 40th Annual GMA Dove Awards in Nashville, the five-day festival—part industry convention, part celebration of Christian music—had a 30% decrease in turnout from 2008, although the event still attracted more than 2,000 people.

Written by Production   
Monday, 08 June 2009 01:15 PM America/New_York
THANK-YOU CAMPAIGN: Jill and Randy King (center), owners of Kings Christian Bookstore in Boone, Iowa, presented a thank-you card with more than 200 signatures from local residents in late March to Boone Fire Chief Ed Knight. The couple, who opened their 2,000-square-foot store last June, encouraged people to visit their store to sign the card for the Boone firefighters to show appreciation for their efforts in a Feb. 3 fire that destroyed three downtown businesses. Randy King was a volunteer firefighter for 10 years as well as a paramedic for a local hospital for 10 years. “Many people who had never been in the store ... came in specifically to sign the card,” Jill King told Christian Retailing. “People from neighboring towns came in and signed the card. ... Fire departments from other towns also came to help.”
COO departs in CBA restructuring Print Email
Written by Staff   
Monday, 08 June 2009 01:13 PM America/New_York
Changes described as a ‘reallocation of resources, streamlining’

CBA COO Dorothy Gore has been let go as part of a restructuring intended to “reset” the retail trade association for the future.

The elimination of Gore’s position, along with the departure of Director of Finance Becky Kennedy, was announced last month by CBA President and CEO Bill Anderson. Other than Anderson, Gore was the longest-serving member of staff at CBA. She joined the organization in 1981 as assistant to Anderson in his then-role as convention manager.

Christian retailers step up their online presence Print Email
Written by Eric Tiansay   
Monday, 08 June 2009 01:09 PM America/New_York
Stores see ‘significant growth in Web sales’ as customers use Internet as ‘primary source’ for products

With the economy continuing in a tailspin, a growing number of Christians retailers are stepping up their efforts on the Internet to generate sales.

Embracing the cyberspace commerce that has been partly blamed for the demise of many mom-and-pop bookstores, some brick-and-mortar stores have converted to an online presence in order to stay in business.

Christian products industry must be ‘sound and solid’ Print Email
Written by Staff   
Monday, 08 June 2009 01:08 PM America/New_York
CBA President Bill Anderson makes appeal in new ‘Christian Retailing’ online series

The Christian products industry needs a theological renewal if it is to play its part in ensuring the health of the evangelical church in the coming years.

That’s the concern of CBA President Bill Anderson, who said that such a change “can only come as we as publishers and record companies and gift manufacturers and retailers give prominence and promotion to that which is sound and solid, refusing to capitulate to the pressure to promote what will sell.

“Let’s be biblically accurate and culturally relevant—without compromise.”

Goodwill helps beacon store survive Print Email
Written by Staff   
Monday, 08 June 2009 01:06 PM America/New_York
Christian Supply owner ‘humbled’ by support after alleged embezzlement

Chuck Wallington, owner of one of the Christian retail industry’s beacon independent stores, has told how help and encouragement from colleagues and competitors has enabled his business to claw its way back from near-financial ruin.

Wallington was shocked last August to find that Christian Supply in Spartanburg, S.C.—founded by his father 55 years ago—was missing almost $1 million, allegedly embezzled by a long-time employee. The woman was indicted on three federal accounts of bank fraud, last month.

Used book sales ‘pick up significantly’ Print Email
Written by Eric Tiansay   
Monday, 08 June 2009 01:03 PM America/New_York
Economic downturn spurs interest in secondhand titles

With the economy and consumer discretionary spending continuing to decline, used books departments are on the rise in Christian stores as retailers seek ways to generate sales and increase foot traffic.

They say selling secondhand titles makes sense as customers alter their book-buying habits during the recession.