Christian Retailing

Veteran store's 'S.O.S. Campaign' gets 'big response' Print Email
Written by Eric Tiansay   
Monday, 08 March 2010 11:13 AM America/New_York

Appeal for help to stay in business prompts donations from churches and retailers

Veteran store's 'S.O.S. Campaign' gets 'big response'A longtime Christian store has received "a big response" to an e-mail S.O.S. appeal for help to stay in business.

Located six miles north of Detroit, His Hand Christian Bookstore in Warren, Mich., has been open for 35 years, but was in danger of having to close its doors because it was about $50,000 in debt.

"It's not just the economy," owner Betty Stutzky wrote in an e-mail circulated in January. "It's the big chain stores, the Internet and maybe apathy."

Stutzky—who wrote the e-mail along with her husband, Harold, and granddaughter, Julie Rastelli, both of whom work at the store—sought donations for their 1,600-square-foot store. Harold Stutzky said that the store's $1,700 monthly rent was paid for February, largely from donations received after Christian Retailing reported about their situation.

"We got a big response," he told Christian Retailing. "We've gotten calls from Portland, Ore., New Orleans and Georgia, to name a few. We've received over $10,000, and it's still coming in.

"People are sending us notes and scriptures," he added. "Six Christian stores and former retailers have sent us money. One gave us $100. They understand what we're going through because they're going through the same thing. … It makes us feel really good. If this wouldn't have happened, we would have closed on Feb. 1."

Noting that more than 150 people, churches and Christian retailers "followed their heart and sent a gift,' Harold Stutzky said they were "forever thankful" for the response and were "praying for wisdom to use the gifts wisely to further God's kingdom."

Christian market dips, but 'rain overdue' Print Email
Written by Eric Tiansay   
Monday, 08 March 2010 11:08 AM America/New_York

Evangelical category 'didn't perform well' in 2009, publisher reports

Christian market dips, but 'rain overdue' Thomas Nelson remains the top Christian publisher in terms of revenue, and its evangelical book market share grew from 29.3% to 32.6% in 2009, according to the Nashville-based publisher's reports of the top 10 U.S. book publishers.

In a recent blog posting, Thomas Nelson CEO Michael Hyatt revealed data from the company's two top 10 lists of leading trade and Christian publishers. Based on revenues for the 12 months ending Dec. 31, the lists were created from a proprietary database developed by Nelson and derived from various point-of-sale (P.O.S.) systems from multiple sales channels.

Random House remained the No. 1 trade publisher, growing its market share from 15.9% to 17.5%. Pearson, which includes Penguin Group (USA), was the second-leading trade publisher, although its market share was relatively flat—from 11% to 11.3%. Hachette Book Group USA moved up from No. 5 to No. 3, largely due to the success of the "Twilight" series.

"Thomas Nelson maintained its position at No. 7, but our market share (among trade publishers) dropped," Hyatt wrote on his blog. "Frankly, the entire Christian category didn't perform well, as evidenced by the fact that we actually gained share in the Christian segment. Tyndale House Publishers fell off the list completely."

In terms of the leading Christian publishers, the top four remained the same, although Zondervan and Tyndale both lost market share, while Baker Publishing Group sales remained flat. Propelled by The Love Dare—by Fireproof movie-making brothers Stephen and Alex Kendrick—B&H Publishing Group climbed from No. 7 to No. 5, while FaithWords dropped from No. 7 to No. 10.

"All in all, the last two years have been tough," said Hyatt, noting that it has been almost two years since his previous summary of the data. "I think the Christian segment in particular has suffered for lack of a blockbuster title to drive people to our category. When you have mega-bestsellers like The Prayer of Jabez, the 'Left Behind' series, The Purpose Driven Life and Your Best Life Now, all publishers benefit because it gets people in the stores. We haven't really seen anything comparable for 18 months.

"But publishing is kind of like the weather," Hyatt added. "Christian publishing, especially, has gone through a dry spell. But this will eventually change. While I never want to presume on the future, if history is any guide, we are overdue for some rain."

Meanwhile, The Love Dare (B&H Books/B&H Publishing Group) surpassed William P. Young's The Shack (Windblown Media/Hachette Book Group) as the best-selling Christian book of 2009, according to the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA).

The publishers group recently released its listing of last year's best-performing titles. Francis Chan's Crazy Love (David C. Cook) was third 0n the 2009 list, ahead of Jesus Calling by Sarah Young (Thomas Nelson). The top 10 also included Gary Chapman's perennial The Five Love Languages (Northfield Publishing/Moody Publishers) at No.6.

ECPA also recently released its top 10 best-selling Christian authors, with Max Lucado listed as No. 1, followed by Stephen and Alex Kendrick and Karen Kingsbury. Next were Stormie Omartian, William P. Young, Ted Dekker and Francis Chan.

Top outreach products named Print Email
Written by Eric Tiansay   
Monday, 08 March 2010 11:01 AM America/New_York

'Outreach Magazine' honors the best Christian evangelism resources from the past year

Top outreach products named Books by Crossway, Zondervan, Harvest House Publishers, Bethany House Publishers, InterVarsity Press (IVP), Regal Books and David C. Cook were among those recognized by Outreach Magazine's 7th Annual Outreach Resource of the Year Awards, honoring the best Christian evangelism products.

Like last year, Outreach did not award one overall Outreach Resource of the Year because of the variety of the nominated resources and the subjects they covered.

Announced in the magazine's March/April issue, the winner in the Evangelism category was Learning Evangelism From Jesus by Jerram Barrs (Crossway), while Cultural Intelligence: Improving Your CQ to Engage Our Multicultural World by David A. Livermore (Baker Academic/Baker Publishing Group) was recognized in the Cross-Cultural Ministry category.

In the Apologetics category, the winners were Apologetics for a New Generation: A Biblical and Culturally Relevant Approach to Talking About God, edited by Sean McDowell (Harvest House) and Heaven and the Afterlife by James L. Garlow with Keith Wall (Bethany House Publishers/Baker Publishing Group).

In the Justice category, the winners were: Social Justice Handbook: Small Steps for a Better World by Mae Elise Cannon (BridgeLeader Books/IVP); The Justice Project, edited by Brian McLaren, Elisa Padilla and Ashley Bunting Seeber (Baker Books/Baker Publishing Group); and Follow Me to Freedom: Leading and Following as an Ordinary Radical by Shane Claiborne and John M. Perkins (Regal Books).

The winners in the Compassion category were When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty Without Hurting the Poor … and Yourself by Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert (Moody Publishers) and The Furious Longing of God by Brennan Manning (David C. Cook).

In the Leadership category, the winners were Ignite: How to Spark Immediate Growth in Your Church by Nelson Searcy with Jennifer Dykes Henson (Baker Books/Baker Publishing Group) and Leading on Empty: Refilling Your Tank and Renewing Your Passion by Wayne Cordeiro (Bethany House Publishers/Baker Publishing Group).

The winners in the Culture category were: SimChurch: Being the Church in the Virtual World by Douglas Estes (Zondervan); Love is an Orientation: Elevating the Conversation with the Gay Community by Andrew Marin (IVP); and The Church of Facebook: How the Hyperconnected are Redefining Community by Jesse Rice (David C. Cook). Saint Nicholas: A Story of Joyful Giving Event Kit (Big Idea) won the Children's Outreach category.

In the Youth Outreach category, the winners were: Think Orange: Imagine the Impact When Church and Family Collide … by Reggie Joiner (David C. Cook); nuChristian: Finding Faith in a New Generation by Russell E.D. Rathbun (Judson Press); Fire Starter: Fuel Your Passion by Greg Stier with Jane Dratz (Dare2Share); and The Question of Homosexuality: A Conversation for Youth about Same-Sex Attraction DVD by Scott Davis (Harvest House).

The winners in the Pass-Along Resources category were: The Karma of Jesus: Do We Really Reap What We Sow? by Mark Herringshaw (Bethany House) and The God Question: An Invitation to a Life of Meaning by J.P. Moreland (Harvest House). The Sycamore Approach DVD and Workbook (Leafwood) won the Small-Group Curricula category.

In the State of the Church category, the winners were Whole Church: Leading from Fragmentation to Engagement by Mel Lawrenz and Missional Renaissance: Changing the Scorecard for the Church by Reggie McNeal (both Jossey-Bass and Leadership Network).

Publishers and organizations that produced outreach-related resources submitted nearly 160 resources published between Nov. 1, 2008 and Oct. 31, 2009.

The magazine's editorial staff pared the nominees to 110 resources, which were placed into 12 categories. An expert panelists—which included authors Craig Detweiler, Samuel Chand, Gary McIntosh and Mark DeYmaz—then identified a total of 25 Outreach Resources of the Year.

A high tide for faith-based films Print Email
Written by Eric Tiansay   
Monday, 08 March 2010 10:52 AM America/New_York

Stores expectant as inspirational movies make waves with media, at the box office

A high tide for faith-based filmsFaith-based movies are making waves in theaters and bringing hopes of a high tide for Christian retailers. Ancillary product tie-ins and DVD sales present opportunities for stores to benefit from the strongest mainstream media buzz about Christianity on screen since Mel Gibson's The Passion of The Christ in 2004.

While the success of Fireproof prompted some headlines in 2008, a bumper crop of recently released and forthcoming faith-based productions has drawn widespread attention.

Among them is Oscar-nominated The Blind Side, starring Sandra Bullock and based on the true story of an unabashedly Christian, white family's adoption of a homeless African-American teen who becomes a football star.

Family Christian Stores (FCS) offered a pre-buy special for last month's DVD release of The Blind Side, with the chain announcing that it would give a portion of proceeds from sales to provide tuition assistance for Christian education to foster children.

Meanwhile, thanks to grass-roots support from Christians—similar to that which helped Fireproof debut in theaters—teen-oriented movie To Save a Life prompted numerous news reports when it premiered in January. The film had "a decent opening" despite its limited release, according to the Los Angeles Times, which noted strongest ticket sales in smaller markets.

Produced by evangelism and church resource organization Outreach and distributed by Samuel Goldwyn Films, the movie—made for $500,000—had earned more than $3 million at press time, according to

Rated PG-13 for mature thematic elements involving teen suicide and drinking, To Save a Life stars Randy Wayne (The Dukes of Hazzard, The Last Hurrah) and Deja Kreutzberg (Law and Order) and revolves around an all-star athlete forced to make major changes in his life.

To Save a Life also featured several retail-related Outreach products, including a novelization by screenwriters Jim and Rachel Britts and Devo2Go—an interactive audio devotional featuring members of the cast—as well as curriculum and student kits. The theatrical release was to be followed by church-based screenings, with a DVD release set for later this year.

FCS Divisional Merchant Manager Tim Way called To Save a Life "not your standard Christian film. The approach is raw, but to be less so would be unrealistic."

Also released in January was Preacher's Kid, which stars former Destiny's Child member LeToya Luckett. Made by Gener8Xion Entertainment, affiliated with Trinity Broadcasting Network and the company responsible for The Omega Code and One Night With the King, the film—billed as a modern-day version of the Prodigal Son story—debuted in 100-plus theaters in 33 cities nationwide.

Meanwhile, Letters to God—directed by David Nixon, one of the producers of Facing the Giants and Fireproof—is scheduled to hit 750 theaters nationwide April 9. Inspired by a true story, the movie is about 8-year-old brain cancer patient Tyler (Tanner McGuire, House, M.D.; Lost), whose prayers take the form of letters to God, which he composes and mails daily.

Following the grass-roots efforts by the makers of Fireproof and To Save a Life, the movie's promoters recently traveled nationwide to rally support from local church leaders for the film.

Related products include the Hope Is Contagious boxed cards from DaySpring and the God's Got My Back tees, hoodies and water bottles from Hope Apparel. Zondervan released last month Letters to God: A Novel by the movie's co-director Patrick Doughtie and John Perry; the Letters to God Bible from Robert Wolgemuth, general editor; a picture book and journal.

Meanwhile, filming recently began in Oahu and Kauai, Hawaii on the inspirational life story of teen surfer Bethany Hamilton, a Christian who, at age 13, had her left arm bitten off by a tiger shark in October 2003.

Based on Hamilton's Soul Surfer: A True Story of Faith, Family, and Fighting to Get Back on the Board (MTV Books), which was sold in some Christian bookstores, the film, also called Soul Surfer, currently does not have a release date.

The movie stars AnnaSophia Robb as Bethany; Dennis Quaid as her father, Tom; Helen Hunt as Bethany's mother, Cheri; and Carrie Underwood as church youth leader Sarah Hill. Bethany, now 19, has become a top-performing pro surfer despite her injuries.

Soul Surfer is being made by Mandalay Vision, Brookwell McNamara Entertainment and Life's A Beach Entertainment, and to be distributed by Affirm Films—the faith label of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. Meanwhile, Courageous—the follow-up to Fireproof—is being marketed by Provident Films, in association with Affirm Films. Courageous is scheduled to be released in theaters in 2011 and set to begin filming in late April or May in Albany, Ga.

Sony Pictures Entertainment and Affirm Films called Soul Surfer Hamilton's "story of loss, courage and faith in God."

"Bethany's story exemplifies personal faith, family unity, the guiding influence of a Christian youth-group leader and the trust of a 13-year-old girl who, weeks before the accident, began praying that God would make clear her purpose in life," said Lovell-Fairchild Communications, the public relations firm that is publicizing Soul Surfer to the Christian retail channel.

Doug Schwartz, co-writer of Soul Surfer's screenplay, added: "I've been a writer and producer for the past 32 years, and I've never encountered a more inspiring true story than Bethany Hamilton's. The movie will encourage people worldwide to rise above adversity."

Hamilton's autobiography has sold nearly 1.5 million copies since its publication in 2004. A sequel, Soul Surfer–Now a Movie, is planned in conjunction with the theatrical release.

Elsewhere, the third movie in "The Chronicles of Narnia" film series is scheduled to hit theaters Dec. 10. In The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, Edmund and Lucy Pevensie (Skandar Keynes and Georgie Henley), along with their cousin Eustace Scrubb (Will Poulter)—find themselves swallowed into a painting and onto a fantastic Narnian ship headed for the edges of the world.

Walt Disney Pictures dropped its plan to co-finance Dawn Treader last year, but 20th Century Fox agreed to partner with Walden Media. The second movie in the "Narnia" series, Prince Caspian—which had a $215 million production budget—was considered a disappointment in 2008, earning $419 million worldwide, a drop from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe's worldwide total of $745 million.

Disney balked at the cost of Dawn Treader, which is projected to have a $140 million production budget, and opted out. The "Narnia" agreement with Disney was at one time said to include a total of nine features based on the popular books by author C.S. Lewis.

Leadership expert John Maxwell leaves longtime publisher Print Email
Written by Staff   
Monday, 08 March 2010 10:47 AM America/New_York

Best-selling author signs multi-book contract with Hachette Book Group to 'extend his influence'

Leadership expert John Maxwell leaves longtime publisher Leadership author John Maxwell is on the move, joining with a new publisher for his next book, due in the fall of 2011.

Maxwell recently signed a three-book contract with Hachette Book Group (HBG), leaving longtime publisher Thomas Nelson. The Five Levels of Leadership, based on a series of messages, will release through HBG's Center Street imprint.

"John Maxwell is the world's most influential authority on leadership," said Rolf Zettersten, senior vice president and publisher for Center Street. "His books and speeches on this topic have changed lives and entire organizations. It's an honor to work with him again, and we look forward to publishing his international best-sellers that will extend his influence."

Maxwell has released dozens of titles in the past two decades with Thomas Nelson, including Leadership Gold, Developing the Leader Within You and Teamwork Makes the Dream Work. Michael Hyatt, president of Thomas Nelson, cited the company's "long and productive relationship" with Maxwell, pointing to a strong backlist of the author's titles.

"Though he decided to go with another publisher for his next few books, we still have the bulk of his backlist and intend to be good stewards of that library of marvelous content," Hyatt said. "John and I have spoken since he made the decision, and our friendship remains solid. I am committed to doing everything I can to help him succeed in getting his message to as many people as possible."

Center Street also recently acquired mass-market paperback rights for some of Ted Dekker's previous novels and began releasing them last month. Adam (Thomas Nelson), Dekker's 2008 hardcover thriller, was one of the titles to be released.

Kevin Kaiser, brand manager for Dekker's management company Creative Trust, said the decision to go with Hachette for mass-market rights was to broaden the author's audience.

"It's a straightforward reason: to introduce Dekker thrillers to more readers," he said. "There is a vast audience that buys mass-market editions as a way of trying new authors without the cash outlay of a hardcover. Reaching out to them is a strategic move in growing Ted's brand, and we're excited to be partnered with the experienced team at Hachette."

Last year, Dekker exercised an option in his multi-year Thomas Nelson contract for an annual thriller released by Center Street. This year's title, The Bride Collector, was to be released this month. His next Thomas Nelson title, Immanuel's Veins, is scheduled to release Sept. 7.

Meanwhile, Thomas Nelson recently announced a new contract for three upcoming books by Andy Andrews, author of The Noticer and The Traveler's Gift, which includes two nonfiction titles and The Boy Who Changed the World—a children's book based on his 2009 release, The Butterfly Effect.

Matt Baugher, vice president and publisher for Thomas Nelson, said he believed that the "best is yet to come" from Andrews and "we couldn't be more proud to continue our fortunate publishing relationship with him."

Publishers eye the future of e-books Print Email
Written by Staff   
Monday, 08 March 2010 10:30 AM America/New_York

Apple's iPad reader welcomed as possible 'game changer'

Publishers eye the future of e-booksAs Apple's entry into the e-book reader market—the iPad—arrives, Christian publishers are looking to embrace what some are calling a "game changer" for the book world.

Zondervan and FaithWords are scheduled to offer books on the new device, with Thomas Nelson expected to be among other evangelical publishers joining in.

Announced in January and rolled out late last month, the iPad will work in conjunction with a digital book store, iBooks, and already has agreements with Hachette Book Group USA, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, MacMillan and Penguin Group (USA).

Karen Campbell, director of public relations for Zondervan, part of HarperCollins, said all Zondervan product would be available in the iBook store by July. FaithWords, a division of Hachette, will also have titles in iBooks.

Although a deal was not yet signed at press time, Thomas Nelson was also expected to join the group of Christian publishers with iPad offerings. Lindsey Nobles, director of corporate communications, told Christian Retailing that it's the company's "intention to sign a distribution deal, but we have not yet seen an agreement, nor has Apple shared details regarding implementation."

Mark Kuyper, president of the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association, told Christian Retailing that the new device has the potential to be a "game changer" for publishing. At the same time, part of its appeal lies in its ability to allow customers to carry along other media with their e-books.

"I think it's a really significant device in that it brings all of media into one portable unit that people prefer to see their media on instead of a phone," he said. "Where it's different from an e-reader is that e-readers are dedicated devices."

Kuyper also said that whereas Amazon had been setting prices for Kindle versions for sale on its site, early reports of Apple allowing publishers to set their own prices for their books for the iPad could have "significant ramifications" for the book industry.

Aaron Linne, digital marketing manager for B&H Publishing Group, said that in addition to the potential for digital book sales, the new device's integration with Apple's existing iPhone applications give it an advantage over other digital-media devices.

"Digital books are only a part of the iPad, proven to be a viable product through both the Kindle and Barnes & Noble nook," said Linne, noting that B&H released five successful iPhone applications connected to its books last year. "The advantage of the iPad is its ability to use all of the current iPhone apps, which can bring a new level of interactivity to the content."

Linne said he believed that even in the midst of the digital boom, there could be future opportunities for independent retailers to benefit.

"As the industry moves towards specific formats for digital products, it will be great to see how Christian retailers find ways to offer the digital versions both online and, more importantly, in their brick-and-mortar stores," he said. "Christian retailers have the huge advantage of a strong connection with their customer base, and being able to add the personal touch to digital purchases is something no online-only retailer can do."

In recent months, publishers have expressed frustration with the limited profit they receive through Amazon's pricing structure, which discounts digital versions of hardcover titles to $9.99 on the Amazon Kindle reader. The online retailer had a public dispute with MacMillan in February, which resulted in the temporary removal of the publisher's titles from Amazon's Kindle store.

Last year, Zondervan, Baker and Tyndale were among those offering Bible translations for the mobile reading device. Recently, Bethany House Publishers and Zondervan began offering free versions of some its best-selling titles from authors such as Beverly Lewis, Rob Bell, Brandilyn Collins, Tracie Peterson and Terri Blackstock, which topped Kindle best-sellers lists.

Harvest House Publishers founder Bob Hawkins dies Print Email
Written by Eric Tiansay   
Monday, 08 March 2010 10:27 AM America/New_York

Widely respected figure was 'a visionary in Christian publishing' whose 'legacy will far outlive him'

Harvest House Publishers founder Bob Hawkins diesHarvest House Publishers founder R.H. "Bob" Hawkins Sr., a widely respected figure in Christian publishing, died Feb. 9 after a long battle with Parkinson's disease. He was 87.

Hawkins received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA) and the Life Impact Award from CBA. Hawkins was instrumental in the establishment of ECPA, serving several terms on its board and as its president from 1985 to 1986.

ECPA President Mark Kuyper said Hawkins was "a visionary in Christian publishing whose role in developing Christian authors, publishing Christian books and leading ECPA remains a profound legacy for our industry," adding: "We are grateful to God for the calling he was obedient to. He will be missed."

George Thomsen, chairman-elect of CBA and manager of the Harvest Store at Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, Calif., said Hawkins' impact in publishing Christian literature "has been far and wide, and a tremendous blessing to Christ's church."

He added that Hawkins' "commitment to faithfulness to the Scriptures in his publishing efforts is exemplary and is an inspiration to our industry." His legacy "will far outlive him, and we are thankful that Harvest House continues to operate in a way that typifies what Bob stood for and is honoring to Christ," Thomsen said.

Writing on his blog, literary agent Chip MacGregor noted that Hawkins helped develop The Christian Reader, was instrumental in launching the careers of James Dobson and Tim LaHaye, was the salesman "who almost single-handedly made The Living Bible successful," started Harvest House Publishers and "created countless, good Christian books." MacGregor added that it was "hard to list all of his accomplishments in Christian publishing."

Hawkins and his wife owned and operated two Christian bookstores before he went on to become the vice president of sales and marketing for Tyndale House Publishers. He started Harvest House Publishers in Irvine, Calif., in 1974 at age 52, working out of his garage and a small office, company officials said. Within two years, four Harvest House titles had sold more than 100,000 copies. Hawkins moved the company to Eugene, Ore., in 1981 because of the quality of life he envisioned it would offer for his staff.

In 1991, Hawkins, then 69, turned over the reins of the company to his son, Bob Hawkins Jr. Harvest House best-selling author Stormie Omartian said Hawkins was "a man of integrity."

Hawkins is survived by his wife of 56 years, Shirley, three children and four grandchildren. A memorial service was held Feb. 23 in Eugene, followed by a private burial.

Berean Christian Stores president resigns Print Email
Written by Staff   
Monday, 07 December 2009 04:21 PM America/New_York
Bill Simmons steps down due to personal reasons, launches consultancy

Bill-Simmons-2Bill Simmons has stepped down as president and CEO of Berean Christian Stores, less than three months after leading the regional chain through bankruptcy.

His October resignation was a personal decision and not related to the business, said Deanna Gimelli, who with her husband, Joseph, bought the Cincinnati-based chain for almost $2 million in August.

Bargain book business continues to grow Print Email
Written by Eric Tiansay   
Monday, 07 December 2009 04:16 PM America/New_York
Second remainders show added as supplier plans expansion

A Christian remainder house based in the Midwest—which has a permanent showroom in New York City—plans to construct a multimillion-dollar distribution center to meet growing demand.

Jerry-BloomJerry Bloom, president of Treasures Media—comprised of a 500-square-foot store, online business and wholesale arm—said he expects to break ground on the new facility in Racine, Wis., in March 2010. To be located in an industrial park, the 80,000-square-foot distribution center—expected to cost $3 million to $4 million—should be constructed by October 2010, he said.

Longtime CBA head steps down Print Email
Written by Staff   
Monday, 07 December 2009 03:53 PM America/New_York
Board search begins for replacement for 24-year retail leader Bill Anderson

CBABillAndersonA major era in the Christian products industry has ended with the sudden departure of the longtime head of the Christian retailers organization, Bill Anderson.

His resignation as president and CEO of CBA after almost a quarter-century caught many by surprise when it was announced by the Colorado Springs, Colo.-based group Oct. 30. No reason was given for his leaving.

Christian Supply stores close in Northwest Print Email
Written by Staff   
Monday, 09 November 2009 08:05 AM America/New_York
Regional chain owned by industrialist downsizes, shuts eight locations

A regional chain in the Pacific Northwest, Christian Supply Centers (CSC) recently downsized, closing eight of its stores in September. The chain, owned by Oregon industrialist Robert Pamplin, still operates five stores in Oregon, Washington and Idaho.

GunnarSimonsenJim Shelley, manager of the chain's store in Spokane, Wash., replaced former General Manager Gunnar Simonsen, who departed the company prior to the store closings. Shelley, who was not available to comment, will lead CSC with increased focus on the five remaining stores in cites such as Beaverton, Ore.; Spokane, Wash.; and Cour d'Alene, Idaho.