Christian Retailing

CBA: Christian store sales up in 2013 Print Email
Written by Christine D. Johnson   
Thursday, 08 May 2014 12:09 PM America/New_York

CBALogo-webChristian stores sales saw an increase of 2.9% in 2013 over 2012, according to the 2014 CBA State of the Industry Report released this week, but consumer buying patterns shifted dramatically in 2013, according to the Christian retail association.

Fourth-quarter 2013 sales were down 6.9% in 2013, but sales were up in the second and third quarters, 12.6% and 8.8%, respectively, according to data from CBA’s CROSS:SCAN sales reporting service. CBA noted several factors affecting sales: earlier shopping for Christmas, economic uncertainty and limited fourth-quarter product-release performance.

The number of Christian retail store closings also increased.

“Store closings increased to a 49 net loss in 2013 from 39 in 2012,” CBA reported. “The loss is less than 2011’s peak of 63 stores. The loss of mid-level chains drastically cut store counts, including the closure of 38 Cokesbury stores that consolidated into one Internet-only store (not counting 19 seminary stores). Eighteen new stores opened in 2013, up from 15 in 2012. About 63% of Christian stores have been in business more than 15 years.”

In terms of category sales, church supplies had the largest category increase, according to the report. Gift and specialty categories were up about 6% in unit share and about 3% in revenue share.

CBA added select data to the report this year from a CBA Christian-supplier CEO survey.

“About 32% of CEOs responding reported flat or no growth,” CBA said. “Most suppliers reported growth rates of less than 5%, while 28% of respondents reported 10% or more growth.”