Christian Retailing

Gift exhibitors pleased with buyers’ response at Unite 2016 Print Email
Written by Christine D. Johnson   
Wednesday, 29 June 2016 04:14 PM America/New_York

JohnMcKinney-SwansonGift vendors report mostly positive experience at Unite 2016, although some didn’t like the reduced time on the floor because of the lunchtime General Sessions.

John McKinney, president of Swanson Christian Products, said the show had been “busy.”

“We’ve had a lot of customers and we’re hoping that we wrote a lot of orders, so we’ll find that out when we get back home,” said McKinney, who also pointed out that “setup was a piece of cake.”

One of Swanson’s most popular products at the show was a line of fashion purses suitable for carry computer tablets but mainly designed for women who have conceal carry permits.

“In today’s environment of concealed carry usage among the general public, the addition of a significant selection of Christian themed concealed carry purses is intriguing to us as distributors,” McKinney said in an earlier press release. “Is this a product that our retailers, and more importantly their customers will embrace?  We believe it is.”

Carpentree was pleased with the interest buyers showed toward its new line.

“We’ve had a lot of new excitement over the Faith Collection line,” said Jordan Hobson, vice president of sales and marketing. “We just acquired that company at the end of September last year. We’ve got both Faith Collection and Carpentree under one roof in Tulsa, Oklahoma. We’ve purchased a new, 50,000-square-foot facility. We’ve got both companies shipping under one roof. We’ve had a lot of customers to our resin crosses and our new embellished canvases that Carpentree has released, so we’re looking forward to continuing that exposure and furthering the work that we’re doing in bringing people to Christ. It’s been a great show, and we’re looking forward to next year.”

New Voskamp, Cahn titles headline upcoming releases Print Email
Written by Taylor Berglund   
Wednesday, 29 June 2016 03:43 PM America/New_York

ICRS-book-wallsExhibitors at Unite 2016 promoted key upcoming book and Bible titles, from Sarah Young's Jesus Always devotional (Thomas Nelson, October) to Joni Eareckson Tada's Beyond Suffering Bible (Tyndale House Publishers, October) . 

Other soon-to-come titles include Ann Voskamp's highly anticipated new book, The Broken Way (Zondervan, Oct. 25), and Jonathan Cahn's The Book of Mysteries (Charisma House, Sept. 6). The holiday season will feature many high-profile authors, including Max Lucado (Because of Bethlehem, Thomas Nelson) and Beth Moore (first novel The Undoing of Saint Silvanus, Tyndale), both of which release in September.

CBA proposes new business model for member retailers Print Email
Written by Ginny McCabe   
Wednesday, 29 June 2016 08:57 AM America/New_York

SamaritanMovie-Unite2016CBA and Content Road Media have joined in a strategic partnership to provide exclusive protects and maximum market for CBA member retailers. This new initiative was rolled out at Unite 2016 during three showings of the pilot product, The Samaritan, a feature documentary with Col. Oliver North and Eddie Roush.

Content Road Media will select the products and manage the overall process, and CBA expects retailers to benefit from increased traffic and sales across multiple product categories.

DaySpring director highlights need for ‘real’ customer connections Print Email
Written by Ginny McCabe   
Wednesday, 29 June 2016 08:03 AM America/New_York

DaySpring-IllustratedFaith-BibleJournalingChristian retail customers long for community, says DaySpring Brand Director Kim Marquette. During one of Tuesday's breakout sessions at CBA's Unite 2016, Marquette instructed retailers on "In-Store Event Planning."

Hosted by Illustrated Faith by DaySpring, the session offered insider tips on planning and executing an in-store event that builds faith, fosters community and creates an unforgettable experience.

Hip-hop, science fiction cited as Christian product trends Print Email
Written by Taylor Berglund   
Wednesday, 29 June 2016 07:32 AM America/New_York

NewDay-VeggieRideAlongCBA’s Christian Product Trends workshop gave retailers attending Unite 2016 a hint at the future of Christian retailing.

The event hosted key industry figures, including Ed Leonard (New Day Christian Distributors), Cynthia Ruchti (American Christian Fiction Writers), Dan Lynch (B&H Kids) and Kevin Traub (Zonderkidz), who highlighted product trends in retail.

Logos group names Walter Wangerin Author of the Year Print Email
Written by Natalie Gillespie   
Tuesday, 28 June 2016 11:17 PM America/New_York

WalterWangerinBest-selling author Walter Wangerin was named Author of the Year at the Association of Logos Bookstores' 42nd annual meeting last weekend in Cincinnati. A Lutheran pastor and National Book Award winner, Wangerin, who previously won Book of the Year twice from the Logos stores, is known for works such as The Book of the Dun Cow, Book of God and Letters From the Land of Cancer. His most recent work is Everlasting Is the Past.

Logos also presented its annual Logos Book Awards and its Outstanding Rep “Attitude of Gratitude” Awards.

Nielsen research, panel review state of Christian market Print Email
Written by Natalie Gillespie   
Tuesday, 28 June 2016 10:49 PM America/New_York

JimCarlsonAward-ICRS2016Four of the Christian products industry’s CEOs shared their thoughts on the future of Christian retail and its challenges at Tuesday’s mid-day general session at Unite 2016.

The gathering began with the presentation of the annual Jim Carlson Spirit of Excellence Award, which was presented to Carl and Becky Ahshizawa, owners of Logos Bookstore of Hawaii in Honolulu.  The couple turned to crowdfunding earlier this year to keep their store open beyond 2016, raising more than $100,000 with a GoFundMe account in order to renovate and move the store to a new location.

Targeted marketing, data tracking help Parable, Covenant stores Print Email
Written by Natalie Gillespie   
Tuesday, 28 June 2016 09:14 PM America/New_York

Parable-Covenant-breakfast-ICRS16The Parable Group and Covenant Group make targeted marketing and data tracking their ongoing goals, the marketing groups told vendors at the Parable-Covenant vendor breakfast Tuesday morning at Unite 2016.

With regard to marketing, Steve Potratz, Parable Group founder and president, showed suppliers how heat mapping highlights for stores the geographical location of their customers and dollars spent to give retailers a better view of their reach. “Every Door Direct” and Facebook advertising targets customers and their friends, enhancing potential visits and sales.