Christian Retailing

Send The Light Distribution celebrates 40 years Print Email
Written by Jeremy Burns   
Monday, 14 April 2014 10:04 AM America/New_York

SendTheLight40thAnniversarySend The Light Distribution is launching a year of celebration to mark 40 years of service to Christian retailers, churches, ministries and suppliers.

Among the anniversary events will be a series of monthly specials and prize drawings for accounts. While the 40-year history will be a focus of the company’s presence at the June’s International Christian Retail Show in Atlanta and of its Spring Invitational for key customers, new growth and business initiatives also will be announced.

Send The Light began as Appalachian Bible Company, founded in 1974 by Tom Torbett in Johnson City, Tenn. Operations expanded to include three regional distribution centers before the company was sold to Send The Light US (STL) in 2005. The 2007 merger between STL and the International Bible Society (IBS) was followed by a 2012 management buyout of the distribution center led by President Glenn Bailey and the reforming of IBS as a separate organization known as Biblica.

“Though Send The Light has grown into the one of the largest Christian distribution companies in the United States, we retain the personal touch and spirit that helped establish Appalachian in our early years,” Bailey said.

“We have retained Tom's specialty of relationships and service,” he added. “Many stores bought from him because he gave personal attention that wasn't available from the bigger companies. He knew how to provide great service, and he would cut through the red tape found in larger companies.”

Send The Light continues with an emphasis on service, while using technology and programs to increase efficiency.

“By consolidating operations and now owning our facility, we are able to spend less money on operations and put more resources into our most important job—meeting customers’ needs and exceeding their expectations,” Bailey said.

The company has seen continued growth and expansion since the buyout two years ago. Send The Light continues to focus on high standards in customer service and a same-day order fulfillment guarantee for those received by 1 p.m. through its Elizabethton, Tenn. facility.

The company also continues to grow its brand with Print on Demand (POD) capabilities and expansion into major distribution assortments of gifts and church supplies.

New customer initiatives unveiled in the last year include the Simply 42 program, streamlining a previously multi-tiered pricing structure into a standard, everyday 42% discount. Another new program is the Premier Partners service offering an expanded range of church supplies and resources.