Christian Retailing

Long’s Christian announces closing of Greater Orlando store Print Email
Written by Christine D. Johnson   
Monday, 18 August 2014 04:05 PM America/New_York

LongsChristian-LineOutside-webStore owner Rodger Long recently announced the forthcoming closing of Long’s Christian Book & Outlet in Greater Orlando, Florida.

Long previously owned a separate larger store in the College Park area of the city, but closed it eight years ago. He had used the second location as an outlet only, but chose to combine the store and the outlet at that time.

The veteran Christian retailer announced the closing to his customers through a letter sent by mail and email, offering a special invitation for them to shop his Aug. 7-13 “Wall to Wall Store Closing Sale” liquidating the store in Altamonte Springs, Florida. Customers who showed their invitation at the store received an additional discount and 1,000 “bonus prize dollars,” as prizes such as a flat-screen TV and Keurig coffee maker were being offered by the liquidating company, G.A. Wright Sales of Denver.

“We are closing our doors forever,” Long told customers in the invitation. “All of our merchandise, store fixtures, furniture and equipment must be sold.”

The invitation mentioned the “careful consideration” that went into making the decision to close the store.

“It is our way of thanking you for 50 wonderful years of business and friendship,” said Long, who told Christian Retailing that although the store is closing, it is debt-free.

Long attributed the closing of the store to the economy, specifically to the impact of online shopping and to “Christian apathy.”

On Facebook, the store reported an estimated 600 or more customers on the first day of the sale.

“There were over 100 waiting to come in when we opened the door at 9:00 a.m.,” the Facebook post said. 

The outlet location has been in operation for 15 years, but Long’s Christian has served the Orlando community for more than 50 years.

Long also operates a small bookstore at First Baptist Church of Orlando. The megachurch is renovating its worship facility next year and also will remodel and possibly upsize its store.

Long believes it is easier to reach customers as church bookstores have a “captured audience.”