Christian Retailing

CBA shares State of the Industry Report at Unite 2017 Print Email
Written by Taylor Berglund   
Wednesday, 28 June 2017 03:40 PM America/New_York

Unite-signEric Grimm, CBA’s director of communications, gave retailers plenty of reasons for optimism with CBA’s State of the Industry report. The briefing was held Wednesday at the Big Idea Stage at CBA’s Unite 2017 show.

CBA’s State of the Industry is an annual survey conducted among Christian retailers, researching trends and their potential implications for the industry. Grimm said this year’s finding were consistent with prior years.

“We do look at critical issues,” Grimm said. “We've done this for several years. Those haven't changed in the last 10 years. It's traffic to the store, it's profitability, and one of the ones that always shows up is passion for excellence. It's hard to find people who really get excited, particularly among the staff, about what they do and why they do it."

He pointed out that retailers have many reasons for optimism. Christian buying power is on the rise, estimated to be $1.2 trillion to $5 trillion. Additionally, Christian retailers’ core customer segments—Baby Boomers, Millennial mothers and Hispanics—are all growing.

Grimm also noted that while e-commerce looms large, brick-and-mortar is still the dominant retail channel. Research found that 85 percent of sales took place in stores.

Finally, Grimm outlined potential opportunities for growth. He touted the relaunch of CBA’s website, which will enable consumers to order products online for pickup in registered Christian retail stores nationwide. He highlighted new marketing strategies, including better usage of data. He also emphasized the importance of creating positive store experiences for customers.

“The idea is that, to build relationship in the store, there’s got to be things that people will want to come to, based not so much on the fact that you have product, but that your customers are aspiring to something,” Grimm said. “They want transformation. … When you start being purposeful about your strategy and who the customers are that you’re trying to get, the experience in the store becomes more and more important, because you’re reaching out to those people with particular needs and problems that need to be solved.”