Christian Retailing

CBA 'pleased to support' Covenant Group's buy-local initiative Print Email
Written by Eric Tiansay   
Friday, 14 June 2013 02:06 PM America/New_York

CBA and Covenant Group have announced a partnership to promote Covenant's new online, industry-wide initiative that aims to direct 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) will be promoted by CBA at the International Christian Retail Show, to be held June 23-26 in St. Louis.

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. At least 400 retail locations is needed to launch the service, organizers said.

"The response from both the publisher community and Christian retailers has been overwhelming," said Chuck Wallington, Covenant Group founder and president who came up with the idea for FILT earlier this year. "When CBA reviewed the program, they immediately recognized the potential benefit it could bring to our channel, and have literally done everything possible to help us increase the reach and effectiveness of the program.

"We are delighted to partner with CBA on this new venture, and so appreciative of their desire to do anything that strengthens the stores in our industry," added Wallington, who is also owner of Christian Supply in Spartanburg, S.C.

CBA President Curtis Riskey said added: "Christian stores are rapidly adopting new technologies to serve consumers who have new expectations about how to connect with retailers. This technology is a way for any consumer to find a Christian store and buy locally. We are pleased to support such bold initiatives and look for continued growth of technical capability and sales to local Christian stores."

More than a dozen leading Christian publishers, including Thomas Nelson, Zondervan, Baker Publishing Group and Tyndale House Publishers, have agreed to feature the FILT link on their websites when it is launched.

Research presented during the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association's Leadership Summit in April revealed that publishers' consumer-direct sales market share has increased 4%.

Covenant Group—the country's second-largest independent Christian chain after Mardel Christian & Education—provides marketing and support services to stores.

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