Christian Retailing

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.

CBA honors international publisher with Lifetime Achievement Award Print Email
Written by Ginny McCabe   
Tuesday, 28 June 2016 09:02 PM America/New_York

JeanLucCosard-JackScott-ICRS16CBA honored Jean-Luc Cosnard, a Christian publishing innovator and former ChristianTrade chairman, with the International Lifetime Achievement Award on Tue0sday morning during Unite 2016.

Jack Scott of Scott Training and Marketing presented the award to Cosnard, president of Editions Vida, at the Global Crossroads: International Business Fellowship event.

James Rubart wins Christy Award Book of the Year Print Email
Written by Christine D. Johnson   
Tuesday, 28 June 2016 09:00 AM America/New_York

FiveTimesIMetMyselfThe 2016 Christy Award winners were announced Monday in a much more understated fashion than at the usual gala during the International Christian Retail Show (ICRS). Instead, the awards honoring and promoting excellence in Christian fiction were announced via video online at

The winners will be featured on Moody Radio's "Chris Fabry Live!" this Friday, July 1. Hosted by Fabry, a novelist who has won multiple Christy Awards himself, the show is heard on over 225 Moody radio stations and streamed live at, 2-4 p.m. CDT.

Retailers learn how to fight Amazon, build teams Print Email
Written by Ann Byle   
Monday, 27 June 2016 10:09 PM America/New_York

DeeAnnTurnerAfternoon breakout sessions at the International Christian Retail Show showed retailers how to fight Amazon and how to build their store staff.

"Stand Against Amazon: Empty Storefronts: The Fiscal and Land Use Impacts of Online Retail" was led by Matt Cunningham of Civic Economics and Eric Grimm, director of communications for CBA.

"The bottom line is that independent bookstores are good for the local economy," Cunningham said.

Cunningham offered statistics about Amazon's growth in online sales and distribution footprint, saying that Amazon's distribution sites can range from millions of square feet to just a storefront. One of the most telling stats was that of Amazon's $48 billion in sales in 2014, $45 billion "would likely have occurred in retail sales."  Around 11.5 percent of Amazon's sales are in books.

One key for Christian retailers is to build community.

"Independent retail  has played a vital role in bringing a community together," Grimm said. "There are things stores can do what nothing else can when it comes to building community."

The second workshop, "Discover the Secret Sauce to Chick-fil-A's Compelling Culture," was led by Dee Ann Turner, a 30-year veteran of the chicken chain, vice president and author of It's My Pleasure: The Impact of Extraordinary Talent and a Compelling Culture.

Turner spoke of building a team by selecting, sustaining and stewarding employees.

"Craft a profile of what you're looking for, looking at what you need now and what you'll need later," Turner said.

She encouraged retailers to advocate for their employees, as well as allow them to make mistakes. Turner also suggested that employers "steward their seasoned leaders" to take advantage of their wisdom, insights and ideas.

"It's important to leverage all that talent, both emerging talent and long-term talent," Turner said.

Munce, MTL point consumers to Christian retail Print Email
Written by Christine D. Johnson   
Monday, 27 June 2016 09:23 PM America/New_York

KirkBlank-Munce2016Florida-based Munce Group celebrated a quarter-century of service to Christian retailers at its annual supplier appreciation breakfast Monday at Unite 2016 in Cincinnati.

Acclaimed musician Keith Getty spoke to the many suppliers present at the event. His focus was on missions in China, and he highlighted a 1931 hymn he and his wife, Kristyn, rewrote. “Facing a Task Unfinished” is the title track for the group’s new album.

ACFW to honor pioneer novelist Janette Oke Print Email
Written by Taylor Berglund   
Monday, 27 June 2016 06:58 PM America/New_York

Colleen-Coble-CBA-press-confAmerican Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) announced the 2016 Carol Award finalists and the ACFW Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Monday at CBA’s International Christian Retail Show (ICRS) themed UNITE.

The 2016 ACFW Lifetime Achievement Award recipient will be Janette Oke. ACFW CEO Colleen Coble said Oke basically launched Christian fiction as a genre with her "Love Comes Softly" series.

“Janette Oke's 'Love Comes Softly' series opened untold opportunities for faith-based novels,” Coble said. “Would any of us who write for that market be writing today if not for the impact of her novels?”

Hallmark recently turned Oke’s When Calls the Heart into a best-selling series about to begin its fourth season. 

At ACFW's press conference, author Cynthia Ruchti also announced the finalists for the 2016 Carol Awards—named after editor Carol Johnson, Oke’s first editor—in 11 categories of Christian fiction published in the previous calendar year.

The Carol Award winners, Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, Editor and Agent of the Year, Genesis Contest winners for unpublished manuscripts, and other honors will be awarded Aug. 27 at the gala at the ACFW conference in Nashville, Tennessee.                                              

The 2016 Carol Award finalists are as follows:


Finding Me, Kathryn Cushman (Bethany House/Baker Publishing Group)

The Art of Losing Yourself, Katie Ganshert (WaterBrook)

As Waters Gone, Cynthia Ruchti (Abingdon Press)


Shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor, Melanie Dobson (Howard Books)

Secrets She Kept, Cathy Gohlke (Tyndale House Publishers)

Luther and Katharina, Jody Hedlund (WaterBrook)

Historical Romance:

Beyond All Dreams, Elizabeth Camden (Bethany House/Baker Publishing Group)

Through Waters Deep, Sarah Sundin (Revell/Baker Publishing Group)

A Worthy Pursuit, Karen Witemeyer (Bethany House/Baker Publishing Group)


The Aleppo Code, Terry Brennan (Kregel Publications)

Blessings in Disguise, Nancy Mehl (Guideposts)

Finding Amanda, Robin Patchen, ACFW QIP (independently published)


A Bride for Bear from The Convenient Bride Collection, Erica Vetsch (Barbour Publishing)

A Palace on the Plains from The Most Eligible Bachelor Romance Collection, Erica Vetsch (Barbour Publishing)

The Archaeologist's Find from The Homestead Brides Collection, Erica Vetsch (Barbour Publishing)


The Beekeeper's Son, Kelly Irvin (HarperCollins Christian Publishing)

Until the Harvest, Sarah Loudin Thomas (Bethany House/Baker Publishing Group)

Crazy Little Thing Called Love, Beth K. Vogt (Howard Books)

Romantic Suspense:

No Place to Hide, Lynette Eason (Revell/Baker Publishing Group)

Submerged, Elizabeth Goddard (Love Inspired/Harlequin)

Miracle Drug, Richard L. Mabry, M.D. (Abingdon Press)

Short Novel:

Covert Justice, Lynn Huggins Blackburn (Love Inspired/Harlequin)

The Christmas Family, Linda Goodnight (Love Inspired/Harlequin)

The Doctor's Second Chance, Missy Tippens (Love Inspired/Harlequin)


Vinnie's Diner, Jennifer AlLee (Abingdon Press)

Heir of Hope, Morgan L. Busse (Enclave Publishing)

The Five Times I Met Myself, James L. Rubart (HarperCollins Christian Publishing)

Young Adult:

Angelhood, A.J. Cattapan (Vinspire Publishing)

The Golden Braid, Melanie Dickerson (HarperCollins Christian Publishing)

Dauntless, Dina L. Sleiman (Bethany House/Baker Publishing Group)


The Thornbearer, Pepper Basham (Vinspire Publishing)

The Calling of Ella McFarland, Linda Brooks Davis (Mountainview Books)

The First Principle, Marissa Shrock (Kregel Publications)

Editor of the Year nominees:

Stephanie Broene, Tyndale House Publishers

Jamie Chavez, freelance

Raela Schoenherr, Bethany House 

Agent of the Year nominees:

Jim Hart, Hartline Literary Agency

Greg Johnson, WordServe Literary

Jessica Kirkland, Blythe Daniel Agency