Christian Retailing

Church bookstores receive tailored training Print Email
Written by Christine D. Johnson   
Sunday, 25 August 2019 11:42 PM America/New_York

Church bookstores have special needs, and no one knows that better than the presenters and facilitators of their Sunday afternoon training session at CPE International. Kelly Graham Flores and Deb Graham have run the store locations at Prestonwood, a megachurch based in Plano, Texas. Rachel Savage of Watermark Christian Store in Melbourne, Florida, and Susan Chipman of Granger Community Church in Granger, Indiana, facilitated the session.

Flores called on church bookstores to make use of publishers’ return policies to eliminate stock that is not selling.

“If you’re not returning books, you can get into big trouble,” she said, recommending using a spreadsheet or notebook to keep track of vendors’ return policies.

Prestonwood uses Amazon to clear some stock. Savage is now checking out a Facebook shop.

Flores shared her favorite social accounts and places to get images, including Dallas Market and Zonderkidz. She also discussed POS systems and said she prefers the cloud-based software Lightspeed offers.

Chipman and Flores discussed how the church stores could use the new Munce Group flyers. Savage gave out 500 flyers one time and ended up adding 500 names to her mailing list, so it greatly benefited her. Chipman rented a list from Munce and, as a result, contacted 1,000 people in her area she may not have otherwise reached.

Because church stores are bound by the doctrine of their churches, the question came up as to how to handle the question of deciding whether to carry a particular book that doesn’t line up with the church’s doctrine. Savage gave some specific examples and said her church sold 2,000 of the Jesus Calling books before the pastor said they would not support the books anymore. Savage also listed other big names Watermark doesn’t sell for theological reasons.