Christian Retailing

Buy-local initiative to 'leverage consumer traffic' for Christian stores Print Email
Written by Eric Tiansay   
Thursday, 02 May 2013 01:00 AM America/New_York

Covenant Group has announced a new online, industry-wide initiative that aims to "leverage the consumer traffic" from Christian publishers' websites towards Christian stores.

Available to both Christian independents and chains, not just Covenant-member stores, Find It Local Today (FILT) is slated for official launch next month—coinciding with the International Christian Retail Show, to be held June 23-26 in St. Louis.

"This program, which we have asked our supporting publishers to list as the first or primary 'where to buy' option on their websites, will give our retail stores a key position before consumers' eyes on those publisher sites," said Chuck Wallington, Covenant Group founder and president who came up with the idea for FILT earlier this year.

"With the title of our link focusing attention on the 'shop local' appeal, as well as the instant gratification aspect, we feel it will give us a strong opportunity to be 'in the game' in terms of competing with other options including major online competitors," added Wallington, who is also owner of Christian Supply in Spartanburg, S.C.

The program has already enrolled leading publishers, including Thomas Nelson, Zondervan, Baker Publishing Group and Tyndale House Publishers.

"The response from the publisher community has been both immediate and overwhelming," said Wallington, noting that there is no cost for publishers. "Almost every publisher we have approached has not just agreed to participate, but readily agreed. I think our publishers are increasingly seeing the benefit of helping strengthen the Christian retail channel, and the ones we have enrolled are certainly stepping up to the plate to do so."

Retailers who join FILT must pay a one-time set-up fee of $100 per account, and a minimal ongoing subscription fee of $10 per month or $100 annually.

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