Christian Retailing

Munce announces new trade association, upgrades CPE Print Email
Written by Christine D. Johnson   
Tuesday, 23 October 2018 05:10 PM America/New_York

Christian Retail AssociationMunce Group announced today the formation of the Christian Retail Association Inc. (CRA) to its nearly 225 member stores. The group's president, Bob Munce, founded CRA as a nonprofit ministry to better serve independent Christian retailers.

Munce Group also will restructure one of its regional trade shows, Christian Product Expo (CPE), into a national and international show called CPE International. The first CPE International will be held Sunday to Tuesday, Aug. 25-27, 2019, at Embassy Suites Nashville SE Murfreesboro in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. The show floor will be open Aug. 26-27.

“Baker Publishing Group would like to encourage our international retailers and international publishing friends to attend CPE International in 2019,” said David Lewis, executive vice president of sales and marketing, Baker Publishing Group. “Since the sale of the CBA show [UNITE] to an independent party, many people have been disappointed with the communication and responsiveness of the new owners. We believe the CPE show can add stability plus a reliable time and place for the Christian publishing industry to meet. We hope all of our international partners will consider putting this show on their calendars for 2019.”

HarperCollins Christian Publishing (HCCP) also supports the new version of the CPE show.

“HarperCollins Christian Publishing has been a supporter of Munce Marketing Group’s Christian Product Expo since its inception,” said Tom Knight, HCCP's senior vice president of sales. “As a trade show focused on the Christian products industry, CPE knows what it takes to drive success. HCCP is proud to be a supporter of CPE and will continue to support its efforts as the show grows and serves the international market.”

In a letter to vendors, Munce explained how the new association and upgraded show came to be. He said during the latest CPE, some top executives and company owners from the publishing, gift, music, services and distributor side of the industry asked him what he would need to take on this new responsibility and volunteered their support. 

Along with CPE International, the regional CPE will continue in Pennsylvania's Pocono Mountains in January ( Both shows will offer retailer reimbursement and have a strong spiritual emphasis as they have in the past.