Christian Retailing

Christian Store Week profits feed the hungry Print Email
Written by Eric Tiansay   
Thursday, 01 November 2012 09:13 AM America/New_York

CBA's third annual Christian Store Week (CSW), which ran Sept. 28 through Oct. 8, raised $17,775 to support U.S. anti-poverty and hunger programs.

More than 430 Christian stores nationwide—including 138 independent retailers plus Berean Christian Stores and the Family Christian Stores chain—partnered with World Vision to raise awareness of the need for hunger relief among children in the U.S. as part of CSW, an effort to spotlight Christian bookstores and drive traffic, CBA said.

"The purpose of Christian Store Week was to help feed hungry children across the country," said CBA President Curtis Riskey. "There is a need across the country where one in five children live in poverty, and where about 15% of American households need food support—a 30% increase since 2006. ... With the help of our sponsors who strongly support Christian stores, we were able to tell that story and help an effective Christian ministry."

CSW was "important to raise awareness of the need for food and poverty assistance right here in the U.S.," said Mary Hogan, World Vision's representative for marketing and retail partnerships. "We are grateful for the tremendous support of Christian stores in our outreach."

The Salt Cellar in Lawton, Okla., had an iPad giveaway as part of its "Praise in the Parking Lot" event Oct. 6, which collected food and donations for the local food bank.

CSW featured an enhanced compilation CD, which was sold exclusively through Christian stores. Lift Up, produced by EMI CMG, featured songs from Big Daddy Weave, Francesca Batistelli, Kutless and other artists who donated royalties, fees and commissions for the CD. Proceeds benefited World Vision food programs.

"We sold the Lift Up CD all week," said Teresia Osborne, manager of The Salt Cellar. "Our staff was pretty good at asking each customer if they would like to buy it and telling them more about it. ... We had a display just for great-priced gifts like the special buy from Christian Art Gifts. All items on this display were priced at $5 each."

As with last year's CSW, Lighthouse Christian Products offered $120 worth of its catalog inventory via a package of 10 items to participating stores for $25 plus shipping and gave a free collage photo frame ($40 value) to retailers who wrote to tell about one of their favorite customers.

Lighthouse Vice President of Sales Ed Nizynski told Christian Retailing that the company gave away 43 free photo frames and 135 packages were sent to 61 retailers.

"The stories we received ranged from humorous to heartwarming, and from somewhat ordinary to spectacular," he said. "They were all very uplifting to our staff. This year we decided to not only support the stores with giveaways and special product programs, but to financially support the campaign and CBA initiatives.

"We wanted to again celebrate Christian retail and especially support the retailers," Nizynski added. "They are the missionaries, the frontliners and without them, our ministry could not exist."