Christian Retailing

CPE International ‘feels like a replacement for CBA’ Print Email
Written by Christine D. Johnson   
Monday, 26 August 2019 06:25 PM America/New_York

ShowFloor CPE International webChristian Retailing spoke with a variety of exhibitors on the CPE floor, which was abuzz with activity Monday, Aug. 26, the first day it was open for business.

Carlton Garborg, president at BroadStreet Publishing, says it’s been “very busy” at CPE with a lot of buyers and activity.

“Overall, it’s just good to see something that feels like a replacement for CBA, so it didn’t go away,” Garborg said. “I hope that next year will be even bigger and stronger.”

Michael W. Smith receives AWSA Lifetime Achievement Award Print Email
Monday, 26 August 2019 05:27 PM America/New_York

AWSA (Advanced Writers and Speakers Association) announced the winners of the 2019 Golden Scroll Awards at the Golden Scroll Banquet, Aug. 27, in conjunction with CPE International.

The association honored artist and author Michael W. Smith its Lifetime Achievement Award in honor of his 35th year in ministry. The Grammy- and Dove Award-winning artist ministered in song and participated in a question-and-answer session hosted by CTN host Monica Schmelter, the emcee for the event.

Monday devotions feature VeggieTales' Mike Nawrocki Print Email
Written by Christine D. Johnson   
Monday, 26 August 2019 10:36 AM America/New_York

MikeNawrocki CPE Devo webLarry the Cucumber showed up during devotions Monday at CPE International. At least, his voice did through creator Mike Nawrocki, who shared how God led him to give up going to Africa as a missionary doctor and instead entrusted him and Phil Vischer, his college roommate, with helping children learn Bible truths.

Nawrocki, now a professor at Lipscomb University in film and animation, said Proverbs 16:9 and Esther 4:14 were significant in his turning toward children's ministry. He hit a "big crossroads" in his life when full funding came in for their first VeggieTales show. He understood how God had gifted him and recognized the power of story.

Church bookstores receive tailored training Print Email
Written by Christine D. Johnson   
Sunday, 25 August 2019 11:42 PM America/New_York

Church bookstores have special needs, and no one knows that better than the presenters and facilitators of their Sunday afternoon training session at CPE International. Kelly Graham Flores and Deb Graham have run the store locations at Prestonwood, a megachurch based in Plano, Texas. Rachel Savage of Watermark Christian Store in Melbourne, Florida, and Susan Chipman of Granger Community Church in Granger, Indiana, facilitated the session.

Flores called on church bookstores to make use of publishers’ return policies to eliminate stock that is not selling.

“If you’re not returning books, you can get into big trouble,” she said, recommending using a spreadsheet or notebook to keep track of vendors’ return policies.

Authors encourage, entertain Christian retailers at CPE Print Email
Written by Christine D. Johnson   
Sunday, 25 August 2019 11:04 PM America/New_York

Retailers attending CPE International were treated to two very different types of speakers, from a teaching pastor to a Hollywood comedian, Sunday night.

Robert J. Morgan revealed his mastery of God’s Word as he took CPE attendees on a tour of the Scriptures from the start of creation to the end of time. The author of Always Near and the upcoming 100 Bible Verses That Made America (both Thomas Nelson), as well as many other books, spoke at the dinner event sponsored by HarperCollins Christian Publishing.

Retailers to drive traffic through social media, marketing Print Email
Written by Christine D. Johnson   
Sunday, 25 August 2019 06:34 PM America/New_York

Rosalinda RiveraChristian retailers attending the CPE International in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, sat in on presentations on topics ranging from search engine optimization to inventory management.

Chris Rainey encouraged attendees not to be overwhelmed by social media but to take advantage of the big two, Facebook and Instagram, in raising awareness of their store. He offered four steps--plan, learn, engage and analyze--for stores to make full use of instead of ignoring social media in their priorities list. Google searches drive people to stores and help build traffic through Google My Business, Google Maps and more, so, Rainey said, retailers must have optimize their use of the search engine.

LifeWay to focus on digital retail, close all stores Print Email
Written by Carol Pipes   
Wednesday, 20 March 2019 02:53 PM America/New_York

LifeWayBuilding webLifeWay Christian Resources is charting a new course in 2019 marking a strategic shift of resources to a dynamic digital strategy. As part of the transition, LifeWay will close its 170 brick-and-mortar stores in 2019.

The organization will continue to offer a broad selection of resources through and the LifeWay Customer Service Center (800-458-2772). LifeWay Customer Service hours are Monday-Friday, 7:30 a.m.-5 p.m. (Central). LifeWay will also continue to serve customers through its network of church partners who work directly with churches.

Munce announces new trade association, upgrades CPE Print Email
Written by Christine D. Johnson   
Tuesday, 23 October 2018 05:10 PM America/New_York

Christian Retail AssociationMunce Group announced today the formation of the Christian Retail Association Inc. (CRA) to its nearly 225 member stores. The group's president, Bob Munce, founded CRA as a nonprofit ministry to better serve independent Christian retailers.

Munce Group also will restructure one of its regional trade shows, Christian Product Expo (CPE), into a national and international show called CPE International. The first CPE International will be held Sunday to Tuesday, Aug. 25-27, 2019, at Embassy Suites Nashville SE Murfreesboro in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. The show floor will be open Aug. 26-27.

“Baker Publishing Group would like to encourage our international retailers and international publishing friends to attend CPE International in 2019,” said David Lewis, executive vice president of sales and marketing, Baker Publishing Group. “Since the sale of the CBA show [UNITE] to an independent party, many people have been disappointed with the communication and responsiveness of the new owners. We believe the CPE show can add stability plus a reliable time and place for the Christian publishing industry to meet. We hope all of our international partners will consider putting this show on their calendars for 2019.”

HarperCollins Christian Publishing (HCCP) also supports the new version of the CPE show.

“HarperCollins Christian Publishing has been a supporter of Munce Marketing Group’s Christian Product Expo since its inception,” said Tom Knight, HCCP's senior vice president of sales. “As a trade show focused on the Christian products industry, CPE knows what it takes to drive success. HCCP is proud to be a supporter of CPE and will continue to support its efforts as the show grows and serves the international market.”

In a letter to vendors, Munce explained how the new association and upgraded show came to be. He said during the latest CPE, some top executives and company owners from the publishing, gift, music, services and distributor side of the industry asked him what he would need to take on this new responsibility and volunteered their support. 

Along with CPE International, the regional CPE will continue in Pennsylvania's Pocono Mountains in January ( Both shows will offer retailer reimbursement and have a strong spiritual emphasis as they have in the past.