Christian Retailing

Munce Group refreshes CPE, adds AmericasMart shows Print Email
Written by Christine D. Johnson   
Tuesday, 24 September 2013 10:58 AM America/New_York

CPElogo-webApproximately 300 retailers are taking part in the Sept. 22-24 Christian Product Expo sponsored by the Munce Group. But while the Murfreesboro, Tenn. (Nashville), event ends today, Munce has announced that its CPE model is changing—and two Atlanta shows are being added to its 2014 calendar.

In conjunction with AmericasMart, the country’s largest gift mart located in the heart of Atlanta, Munce will host “CPE at AmericasMart” in January and July—but with a significant change. CPE at AmericasMart will be a one-day event only and will feature an exhibit floor with vendors, training sessions and meals.

The Christian independent retailer and vendor/service provider community has asked Munce in the past few years to bring the CPE model to Atlanta during AmericasMart, with gift shows taking place in January and July.

January’s AmericasMart pulls in more than 55,000 retailers, and July sees more than 30,000 retailers, both mainly from the general market. With a growing interest in inspirational products from general market stores, and with a similar increase in interest in gifts from Christian retailers, both types of retailers will be attending the AmericasMart shows.

“Today, no one argues the importance of a good gift selection in a Christian retail store,” said Ed Nizynski, vice president of sales for Lighthouse Christian Products Co. “Some Christian stores state they have gone all gifts, creating a destination stop for inspirational gifts for all occasions and milestones in life. Depending on which source you’ve read, Christian stores are now reaching between 30% and 40% of annual sales through gift products. Some even state since creating a destination place for gifts, ‘they’ve seen an increase in book and music sales.”

Munce Group knows that there are many Christian retail store owners who have never attended AmericasMart because of logistics, time out of the store and the lack of suppliers from the Christian products industry. But there are several independent and church bookstore operators who attend AmericasMart and would appreciate the convenience of meeting with publishers and service providers while there.

Wanting to leverage the 10-year success of CPE in Murfreesboro and Hershey, Pa., Munce plans to bring the shorter event to AmericasMart. The retail group is expecting to host 40 Christian product vendors and two workshops for approximately 50-100 U.S. retailers and 20-30 international retailers. The Hershey and Murfreesboro shows will continue as three-day events in January and September, respectively. Events for 2014 are as follows: Atlanta (Jan. 9), Hershey (Jan. 19-21), Atlanta (July 10) and Murfreesboro (to be announced).

CPE continues to be free to attend for retailers who take advantage of its reimbursement program. Visit for further details.

Watch for more coverage of CPE Murfreesboro in the upcoming November issue of Christian Retailing.

Editor's note: This story has been updated since its original publication.