Christian Retailing

The Parable Group awards stores, vendor of the year Print Email
Written by Christine D. Johnson   
Monday, 23 June 2014 07:38 AM America/New_York

Parable-SamJudyWalkerThe Parable Group named Tyndale House Publishers as the 2014 Vendor Partner of the Year during the annual Store Summit Meeting on Saturday, June 21. The retail group also honored several of its own stores for retailing excellence.

The Parable stores were honored for achieving excellence in customer service, sales and industry impact during their All-Store Family Banquet on June 21 in Atlanta.

 “In the midst of the challenging economy, we celebrate stores that have seen increases in sales,” said John Strifler, marketing and operations coach for The Parable Group. “The Sales Growth Award is simply that—recognition for the franchise and partner store that showed the most positive sales increase in 2013.”

Sales Growth Awards went to the Cheeseman family, owners of Parable Bible Bookstore in

Concord, New Hampshire, and the Phelps family, owners of Evangel Christian Stores in Medford, Oregon, and Grants Pass, Oregon.

The Phelps family also received The Parable Group Industry Impact Award for “renewing the hope” for all in the ministry of Christian retail.

“We wanted to recognize the Phelps family as they have overcome a challenging situation in their business by confronting the facts, seeking appropriate counsel, formulating a plan and then dedicating themselves to it,” Strifler said.

The Phelps changed their future course by scaling back their operation to two stores, revitalizing their store formats and product mix, and restructuring their financial picture by negotiating with their creditors and following through on those commitments.

Mark Phelps reacted to these awards: “We’ve experienced a tough couple of years of sacrifice and effort, but our team has pitched in and worked the turn-around plan we put in place. We thank God that He’s guided us onto a successful track. We are humbled by these awards.”

In the category of Customer Service Excellence, The Parable Group honored the store that consistently scored highest in customer service reports that  reflect the whole customer shopping experience.

“Customer opinion matters and this store served customers well,” said Steve Adams, retail operations coach for The Parable Group.

The Customer Service Excellence Award went to Sam and Judy Walker, owners of Sonlight Books...A Parable Christian Store in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. The staff repeatedly scored high on friendly and courteous engagement, promptness and good interaction around product selection.

Vendor Partner of the Year Tyndale was recognized for its strength in service, excellence in product design and innovation, marketing and promotional efforts, sales and the ministry value of products the company brings to independent Christian retail stores served by The Parable Group.

“We at The Parable Group are blessed to work with a large number of exceptional partners,” said Steve Potratz, president of The Parable Group.  “Our annual Vendor of the Year Award is intended to recognize and honor the very best vendor each year. This year’s winner, Tyndale, has been relentless in its pursuit of excellence by providing our partner stores with innovative products containing high editorial standards, and following through with consistent promotional support, exceptional product delivery and advantageous margins—all fueling strong sales growth, especially in the fiction and Bible categories.”

Bridge to Haven by Francine Rivers and Auschwitz Escape by Joel C. Rosenberg, both published by Tyndale, earned the Nos. 1 and 2 spots on Parable’s fiction best-sellers list for 2014.

Additionally, Tyndale’s continued marketing support with print, email and in-store merchandising for the company’s New Living Translation and One Year Bible brands has placed them second in terms of Bible market share across Parable partner stores, with Bible sales rising steady in the past five years.

“It’s an honor to receive this award on behalf of the Tyndale team and a blessing to work with everyone connected with Parable,” said John Johnson, national sales director for Tyndale. “I refer to our corporate statement, ‘To minister to the spiritual needs of people, primarily through literature consistent with Biblical principles.’ This award affirms that Tyndale—from senior management through publishers, design, editorial, marketing, production, credit, customers service, distribution and, ultimately, our sales team, the face of Tyndale that retailers see, are doing well to live up to our purpose. Thank you and God’s richest blessings.”

The Vendor of the Year Award winner was selected by The Parable Group partner stores.