Christian Retailing

Awards Focus: Winning stores offer lessons in retail excellence Print Email
Written by Staff   
Monday, 27 July 2009 01:49 PM America/New_York

Awards ceremonies honor stores, Tyndale saluted as first Christian retail ‘Channel Champion’

An occasion honoring some of the industry's best was turned into a mini-training session when CBA presented its first Spirit of Excellence Awards to 10 stores.

Trade association President Bill Anderson outlined some of the initiatives for which the stores had been nominated in areas such as customer service, outreach and ministry, marketing and merchandising, as he presented the trophies at the CBA members' breakfast.

Among those he spotlighted were Lorraine Valk, co-owner of Banner Books Parable Christian Store in St. Joseph, Mich., for her "departmental mix, proportionate allocation to categories, ordering and replenishment strategy."

Jim Kregel's introduction of a customer experience survey tool at his Kregel Parable Christian Store in Grand Rapids, Mich., was recognized for "helping them to improve their operation and also to turn the occasional disgruntled customer into a positive fan."

Rick and Susan Lewis, owners of Logos of Dallas, were noted for "memorable customer service," once canceling a prior commitment on their schedule to provide a Sunday afternoon book table for an event.

Other winners were: Bruce and Cindy Anderson, Alpha & Omega Parable store in Rochester, N.Y.; Carl Miller, Majesty Parable Christian Store in Greensburg, Pa.; Tammy Garner, The Master’s Parable Christian Store in Clovis, N.M.; Sue Smith, Baker Book House in Grand Rapids, Mich.; Keith and Brenda Harrison, The Lighthouse Christian Bookstore in Bedford, Ind.; and Sandra Crockett, Inspirations Unlimited in Roswell, N.M.

bill & tina beyerBill and Tina Beyer, owners of the Skia store in Bentonville, Ark.—ICRS 2008 recipients of CBA's Retail Innovator of the Year Award—were announced as winners of the first CBA Jim Carlson National Spirit of Excellence Award.

In the few years since they opened their store, "they have made such an impact on their community that it was impossible to capture it in all one nomination," said Anderson, mentioning "exceptional marketing," including outreach events and concerts.

Earlier in the week, CBA honored Tyndale House Publishers with the association's first Channel Champion award in recognition of the company's support in growing the Christian retail channel.

Tyndale President Mark Taylor received the award, Anderson said, for the way the company's "overall business model positions Christian retailers as their most passionate and dedicated business partners in reaching consumers for Christ."

Anderson noted Tyndale's "wildly successful" channel exclusives, such as the Operation Worship Bible campaign and Campaign Financial Aid, and its exclusive sponsorship of CBA's new Customer Inventory Accelerator program.

Taylor told retailers that "we in Christian publishing recognize that without you we cannot do the things that God has called us to do. ... We hope that we have always been champions of the CBA channel and intend to continue that."

The same awards ceremony also honored a name familiar to many Christian stores, Bible teacher, author and broadcaster Warren W. Wiersbe, whose 160 books—including the popular "Be" series of Bible studies—have been translated into more than 30 languages and have sold more than 4 million copies.

Unable to travel to receive the award because of ill health, Wiersbe received the CBA Life Impact Award in recognition of his "devotion to Christ and faithfulness to God's Word," as a result of which "multiplied millions of believers around the globe have discovered the glory of God and have seen Christ come to life in relevant ways."

Also announced at the CBA members breakfast were this year's show booth award winners. Best Design, Books over 300 square feet: David C. Cook; Best Design, Gifts over 300 square feet: DaySpring; Best Design, Retail Support: Design Identity; Best Staff, over 300 square feet: Tyndale House Publishers; Best Design, Books under 300 square feet: Harrison House Publishers; Best Design, Entertainment under 300 square feet: NOTW (Not of This World).