Inside FDI’s Annual Extravaganza

What follows is based on information gathered from other dealers.

If it’s Wednesday morning and you’re reading this, chances are you’re not at Foundation Distributing’s annual Day in the Country event.

I’m not. Wednesday is my regular day at the store, serving my regular customers. But I have other reasons for not going.

I think it’s important to be aware that there are two classes of people at the sale who intermingle sometimes unaware of the buyer class distinction. It’s always been that way, dating back to the R. G. Mitchell Family Books warehouse sales on which these are based.

Ahead of Time

Foundation (FDI) begins assembling the merchandise array many months ahead of time by contacting suppliers and purchasing remainder and overstock product. The merchandise mix varies from year-to-year. Some U.S. publishers are happy to move product out of their warehouses to avoid an American inventory tax. This might even include publishers that FDI doesn’t normally represent on a wholesale basis.

One member of the team once shared with me that the marked dealer net price isn’t always strictly a reflection of the cost price, but rather, the price it takes to move all of that particular out the door. So if FDI’s management believes that a particular item offers more value or would have more demand, it gets marked higher. If some of the items are white elephants, they get marked much lower.

This is a really big deal for FDI. Staff members work long and hard to prepare the warehouse for the event and provide hospitality to its guests. Occasionally, you’ll also see representatives from U.S. publishing houses at the event. So in addition to the inventory itself this is a major investment in terms of dedicated payroll hours for staff.

Major Accounts

These top-tier buyers come from across Canada and FDI covers their airfare (and possibly hotel). In detail, this means they make their own travel arrangements to get to to Pearson Airport in Toronto and then to the hotel in Bowmanville (just south of Orono) and then they submit their airline receipt to FDI, which gives them an account credit equal to the value of the ticket to spend at the sale.

These buyers are often not seen filling shopping carts but rather, they might walk around with an FDI staff member indicating their interest in purchase larger quantities (“100 of this” or “all that you have of that”) and this information is recorded and the stock is assembled later. Some of those buyers have done some “pre-shopping” the day before. The titles they buy in large quantities might be photographed and turn up in their own sale flyers a few months later.

Once stores are shopped out for overstock and remainder items, there are then incentives to examine the regular wholesale product on the shelves and place orders for new titles. Often seminars are included and there’s always a free lunch.

Everyone Else

The rest of the crowd consists of dealers who live within driving distance of Orono. There are a considerable number of these, and their presence helps create the buying frenzy needed for FDI to move the product. (Every marketing book you will ever read about staging an event like this uses the term buying frenzy. Something to keep in mind when holding your own one-day event.) Many dealers admit later to spending two times or three times the amount they had mentally budgeted.

Other than the free lunch, there are no kickbacks for travel for these second-tier store owners or managers. Given cost/sell averages, it means that at least in part, these smaller stores are subsidizing the airfare for the larger ones and are also being used to create the aforementioned buying frenzy.

These stores often get their purchases assembled and invoiced before leaving, and freight their own boxes back to their respective stores while, as above, inspecting the balance of FDI’s wholesale inventory and filling in order forms.

After the Sale

FDI offers post-sale specials, particularly to dealers who didn’t attend, but also has a network of businesses willing to buy liquidation inventory of Christian products. A month later the warehouse might be back to normal, and then the following year the process begins anew. Purchase. Liquidate. Repeat.

Benefits

For FDI, this gesture offers a tremendous amount of goodwill toward its wholesale customers. There are, as we’ve identified before, a number of Foundation-friendly stores which carry a larger percentage of its products –sometimes in bulk — than their own sales data or U.S. bestseller charts would deem necessary. 

For the stores, it represents an opportunity to access merchandise at extra generous margins provided that the product sells through. Items purchased at Day in the Country are generally sold on a ‘sales final’ basis. If you’re buying it, it’s because you think you have a market for it.

For everyone on both sides of the equation, there are social benefits of getting to see each other, especially in the absence of a Canadian chapter of the Christian Booksellers Association. This, along with the August trade show at Bingeman Park, is the closest thing we have to an annual conference.

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Buying a Large Print Bible (Consumer Edition)

This is basically a repeat of yesterday’s article, written for stores to post in their newsletter, Facebook page, or website (if your site offers you the option of supplementary pages). Above is an alternative image if you don’t wish to use the one provided.)

Needing a Large Print Bible Involves More Than Type Size

In terms of value for price, this NIV Compact Giant Print often wins people over who thought they were shopping for large print. It’s one of my favorite text-only NIV Bibles on the market. Click the picture to learn more.

She hated to admit it, but it was time to move up to a larger print Bible. She thought that meant simply getting a bigger font size, but the first few Bibles she looked at weren’t working for her. The problem is, to have better readability there are five factors or characteristics of the Bible that need to line up. A larger font size can easily be defeated by not having the others in place.

With an aging population, people are living well into their sight-affected years. Larger print is necessary for many people. It’s not like a computer where you can simply push a button to enlarge the screen. With print copies, it’s important to get the readability needed.

There’s no industry standard for large print anyway. Buying a Bible online becomes very difficult at this stage because descriptions might say, “Font size 9.5” but as you’ll see below that means almost nothing when other factors are introduced.

If you know someone who is going to be needing a Bible upgrade soon, make sure they read this.

Five Readability Factors for Bibles

Font Size – To meet expectations, “large” should be at least 10.0 point and “giant” should be at least 12.0 point; but the key phrase here is “at least.” Ideally, I’d like to see “large” at about 11.5 and “giant” at about 14.0.” Also, generally speaking large print books are much more generous in font size — as well as the other four factors listed below — than large print Bibles. Some readers who have purchased large print books before question the application of the term when it’s applied to Bibles with smaller fonts. If you’re in a store and they have a font size guide posted, that gives you the language to express what you’re looking for, but don’t go by online guides, as they are sized at the whim of your monitor settings.

Typeface – This consideration is the basis of Zondervan and Thomas Nelson’s move — started last year and continuing throughout 2018 — to “Comfort Print” on all their Bible editions. Some typefaces are simply fatter than others. Personally, I like the clean look of a sans serif font (think Arial/Helvetica) such as Zondervan was using on its Textbook Bibles. But others like the look of a serif font (think Times New Roman) instead. But Comfort Print is a great innovation and I find when it’s available that people who think they need large print don’t, and other who think they might need giant print (with other publishers) can work with Comfort Print’s large print. You can think of this in terms of the difference between regular and bold face.

Leading – This one is actually quite important, and we’ll leave the definition to Wikipedia: “In typography, leading (/ˈlɛdɪŋ/ LED-ing) refers to the distance between the baselines of successive lines of type. The term originated in the days of hand-typesetting, when thin strips of lead were inserted into the forms to increase the vertical distance between lines of type.” One Bible publisher which I won’t name is notorious for using a large font but then crowding their lines of type together. The issue here is white space. If you look at the Wisdom Books of the Bible (which are typeset as poetry with more white space and wider margins) and compare to the History Books or Gospels (which are typeset as prose, both right-justified and left-justified) you see the advantage created by white space.

Inking – Some Bibles are not generously inked. There are sometimes also inconsistencies between different printings of the same Bible edition, and even inconsistencies between page sections of a single Bible. Text should be dark enough to offer high contrast to the white paper. Furthermore, some older adults have eye problems which make reading red-letter editions difficult. If that’s the case — and you don’t always know ahead of time — use a page from the Gospels as a sample.

Bleed Through – On the other hand, you don’t want to see type from the previous or following page. Bible paper is usually thin paper, which means the potential for bleed-through is huge. On the other hand, holding Bibles up to the light isn’t a fair test. Rather, the place where you check out the Bible should be well-lit and then pages should be examined in the same context you would read them at home. It is possible that an individual simply needs a better quality reading lamp.


 

Categories: Uncategorized

Customers Asking for Large Print Actually Need 5 Characteristics to Line Up

When it comes to typeface readability, this is my favorite Bible in our store and offers great value and a compact size. ***

She hated to admit it, but it was time to move up to a larger print Bible. She thought that meant simply getting a bigger font size, but the first few Bibles I showed weren’t working for her. The problem was, to have better readability there were five factors or characteristics of the Bible that needed to line up. Bigger font size can easily be defeated by not having the others in place.

There’s no industry standard for large print. Buying a Bible online becomes very difficult at this stage because descriptions might say, “Font size 9.5” but as you’ll see below that means almost nothing when other factors are introduced.

Be sure to share this article with your entire staff.

Font Size – For my money, “large” should be at least 10.0 and “giant” should be at least 12.0; but the key phrase here is “at least.” Ideally, I’d like to see “large” at about 11.5 and “giant” at about 14.0.” Nonetheless, we keep a font size chart posted in our store at all times. Also, generally speaking large print books are much more generous in font size — as well as the other four factors listed below — than large print Bibles. Some readers question the application of the term when it’s applied to Bibles.

Typeface – This consideration is the basis of Zondervan and Thomas Nelson’s move to “Comfort Print.” * Some typefaces are simply fatter than others. Personally, I like a sans serif font (think Arial/Helvetica) such as Zondervan was using on its Textbook Bibles. But others like the look of a serif font (think Times New Roman) instead.  I find with Comfort Print that some customers who think they need large print don’t, and other who think they might need giant print (with other publishers) can work with large print. You can also explain this to customers in terms of the difference between regular and bold face.

Leading – Wikipedia’s turn: “In typography, leading (/ˈlɛdɪŋ/ LED-ing) refers to the distance between the baselines of successive lines of type. The term originated in the days of hand-typesetting, when thin strips of lead were inserted into the forms to increase the vertical distance between lines of type.” One Bible publisher which I won’t name is notorious for using a large font but then crowding their lines of type together. You should also introduce the issue of white space which is related. Always show a customer both the Wisdom Books of the Bible (which are typeset as poetry with more white space and wider margins) and History Books or Gospels (which are typeset as prose, both right-justified and left-justified).

Inking – Some Bibles are not generously inked. There are sometimes also inconsistencies between different printings of the same Bible edition, and even inconsistencies between page sections of a single Bible. Text should be dark enough to offer high contrast to the white paper.** This blog itself defaults most days to a greyer type than I would prefer. If you’re reading this on a laptop or desktop, look at the difference when, without shifting to bold face, we simply use black.

Bleed Through – On the other hand, you don’t want to see type from the previous or following page. Bible paper is usually thin paper, which means the potential for bleed-through is huge. On the other hand, customers holding Bibles up to the light aren’t giving them a fair test. Your Bible area should be well-lit and then pages should be examined in the same context the person would read them at home. It is possible the customer needs a better quality reading lamp.


*We looked at comfort print in detail in this September, 2017 article.

**Some customers have eye problems which make reading red-letter editions difficult. Be sure to ask about this and use a page from the Gospels as a sample.

***Click the image for this Bible and with the added background, it will render as 500px-width for a relatively blur-free application on your store’s Facebook page.

Let us know if you’d like to see a consumer version of this article (i.e. with references to “customers” removed) to use on your store website, blog or newsletter.

The Boy Who Did Not Come Back From Heaven Suing Tyndale House

Tuesday in The Washington Post:

On Nov. 14, 2004, as 6-year-old Alex Malarkey drove home with his father Kevin in rural Ohio, a left turn nearly took his life. As Kevin turned the car it collided with another vehicle, and the boy’s skull became completely detached from his spinal cord.

But Alex did not die — and that’s the central fact behind a long-running controversy that has now led to a lawsuit.

Two months after the crash, Alex emerged from a coma as a quadriplegic. The injured boy also began telling family and friends about traveling to heaven and meeting Jesus and Satan.

In July 2010, Kevin and Alex Malarkey penned an account of the boy’s religious experience, “The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven.” The book was published by Tyndale House, a publisher of Christian books. It went on to reportedly move more than 1 million copies and spent months on the New York Times bestseller’s list. The book was part of a bumper crop of similarly geared narratives — tales of near-death experiences and brushes with the Almighty published by religious imprints.

Then it all fell apart. In January 2015, Alex, now paralyzed from the neck down, admitted he had fabricated the story.

“I did not die,” he wrote in a blog post. “I did not go to Heaven. I said I went to heaven because I thought it would get me attention.”

The admission created a firestorm within the worlds of evangelical faith and Christian publishing. The controversy was revived this week when Alex — now 20 years old and living off Social Security — filed a lawsuit against Tyndale House in Illinois’s DuPage County, where the publisher is located. The complaint alleges Kevin Malarkey was the main actor behind the fabrication…

continue reading here

Christianity Today picks up the story Wednesday:

…Tyndale took the book out of print in 2015, after Malarkey admitted he made up the story of dying and going to heaven after the accident.

“Now that he is an adult, Alex desires to have his name completely disassociated from the book and seeks a permanent injunction against Tyndale House requiring it to do everything within reason to disassociate his name from the book,” according to the complaint, which was covered in The Washington Post.

Malarkey has sued on the grounds of defamation, financial exploitation, and publicity placing a person in a false light, saying that Tyndale went forward with initially publishing and promoting the book knowing his opposition. He states that he did not write any part of the book or consent to the use of his name as a coauthor and story subject.

The suit states that he has “never been permitted to read the contract, nor to review any accountings provided under the contract, he refuses to acknowledge that the contract ‘is in effect and binding,’ now that he has reached the age of majority.” …

…Tyndale said in a statement issued this week that it no longer promotes the book or makes it available for sale, and that it has complied with the terms of the book contract.

“This is a terribly unfortunate situation, which deeply saddens all of us at Tyndale,” said Todd Starowitz, the publisher’s spokesman. “Despite the claims in Alex Malarkey’s lawsuit, Tyndale House paid all royalties that were due under the terms of our contract on his book, The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven. Tyndale took the book out of print in 2015 when Alex said that he had fabricated the entire story. Any books still available from online vendors are from third-party sellers.” …

continue reading here…  

Since the product recall, many customers mistook the story being recanted as belonging to the book Heaven is For Real by Todd Burpo (Thomas Nelson) since both are about kids. Sales staff continually need to emphatically set the record straight.

Product which was available as of January 16th, 2015 before the recall. Image captured at Ingram/Spring Arbor.

 

The book was one of many similar titles on the New York Times bestseller list in August, 2011

 

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Maritime Christian Books in Charlottetown to Close in June

The following was posted yesterday to the website and the Facebook page of Maritime Christian Bookstore:

End Of An Era!

Dear Customers –

It is with deep sadness and regret that we inform you that we will be closing our store as June 16, 2018. We thank you for your patronage and wonderful friendships over the years.

From the vision of one man, Donald Stewart, to bring Christian literature to PEI, a one-room storage area evolved into a Bible college bookstore – then a full-fledged retail outlet owned and operated by Les & Fern Jones (for 10 years) and now by their daughter and son-in-law, Bonnie & Roger May (for 27 years). Thank you for your part in growing this business.

We also want to thank the many excellent staff members who have worked alongside us. A huge thank you for your customer service and for being a part of our business. You really are like family to us.

Times have changed as have our customer’s shopping habits. While we know that we sell life-changing Christian products, we are met with steep competition from online sales. So the time has come that we need to move on to other areas of service…

Thank you for 37 years of business and friendship. We have loved being part of your lives and we look forward to seeing you over the next few weeks.

Bonnie & Roger May and our entire staff.

Categories: Uncategorized

More Facebook Graphics You Can Use

These are all sized for Facebook (500px width) unless where indicated, and to repeat, I prefer to use graphics which contain the book cover image.

For this one we used a graphic created by the publisher, but wanted to include the book cover. So we changed it up a bit. Not great, but remember, the goal is to get these posted within 5 minutes so that social media isn’t consuming your entire day. Also, social media like Facebook and WordPress don’t reproduce high resolution images, so don’t overthink this. (And avoid backgrounds using a solid red colour; they don’t work well on those platforms.)

The font style at the top was intentional and appeared in a campaign that also included “Coming Soon.”

We really liked this because we got to add our own graphics. We chose “New from Beverly Lewis” at the top, and “Now available at [store name]” in the gutter at the bottom. This one is 750px, so you’ll need to resize, but it’s easier working with the larger image and then sizing it down to 500px.

Revell ran this as an advertisement in the current issue of Christian Retailing Magazine. We cropped out the copy at the bottom because it would have rendered very small. We decided to leave the dates in however, because that’s part of the story. If you run this today you can call it “49 days until The 49th Mystic” and offer pre-orders at a special price. (You’ll have to make this smaller again if you use it on Twitter so that there’s full impact without clicking through.)

This was done in a hurry, but I wanted to show at least 3 of the designs of Stoneware Coasters from Carson Home Accents (Anchor/Word Alive). You could also take a picture of the packaging as well.

We didn’t make this one; it was on someone’s blog and the artwork is rather crude, but we used it to serve as a talking point for the many faith-based films currently showing. Eventually, each of these will be a DVD for sale in your store, so promoting the movies showing this season never hurts. Maybe you can do better and send it to us to share!

Zondervan always has a number of these. If your author is a photographer, I suppose it’s an even better idea!

I had an interesting reason for including this Bethany House image. We haven’t actually ordered this book, and you can bet the book tour isn’t passing through Canada. However, knowing that I already have a graphic in my files will sometimes influence my decision to buy a copy or two. Backwards, I know!

Lastly, these don’t always have to be about frontlist titles. Zonderkidz ran this one rather recently, and the scripture citation adds ministry value to your store’s Facebook page.

…No time for all this? Then link to book reviews that don’t have referrals to the competition, or link to publisher marketing pages for titles you wish to promote.  

Even that’s too complicated? Simply take a picture of a staff member holding a book. 

Conversely, in a larger store environment, have a designated media person and challenge them with ideas like a weekly slide show of new products (like Family Christian in Burlington does) or have them set up a store blog with reviews and lists of new arrivals and then link to it on Facebook and in your newsletter (like House of James in Abbotsford does). 

Finally, don’t expect people to be attracted to your social media if it’s nothing but store advertising. Regularly include updates of Christian events happening in your area.

 

 

 

Ontario Author Probes the Forces Behind the Sexual Revolution

As you read this, Ann Gillies in the middle of a busy seven weeks of touring which takes her through B.C., Alberta and Ontario. She’s presently in Calgary as a chaplain coordinator for the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team where last week she spoke in chapel at the Billy Graham Canadian headquarters in Calgary.

Ann is an ordained minister with Anchor ministries and also an affiliate of Vision Ministries. Her first book was Deep Impact: Integrating Theology and Psychology in the Treatment of Complex Trauma.

Publisher Marketing:

In Closing the Floodgates, psychotherapist Dr. Ann Gillies has written a blockbuster of a book exposing the biased, unscientific, and corrupt methods used to promote the sexual revolution of the last sixty years. In her powerful and compelling analysis, she shows how the truth of scientific fact has been overturned in the interest of pleasure and personal feelings, and how a determined minority is using social engineering to reconstruct our social and moral worlds by redefining gender, sexuality and the family. She draws an alarming picture of the consequences: identity confusion among the youth; sexual abuse and victimization of children; soaring rates of suicide and sexually transmitted diseases; the embedding of false, unhealthy, and immoral teaching in the school curriculum; and the loss of freedom of speech and parental rights.

While a few readers may find the level of detailed academic content challenging at times, Dr. Gillies is able to make professional findings understandable and real for the average person. For all the necessary research and statistical reporting, this is a gut-level book. In a time of culture wars, when the truth about gender and sexuality is under attack, this book sets the record straight. It issues a rallying cry to parents and others concerned for the future of the family and western society to be informed and take action before it is too late.

-Dr. George R. Slater, author of Along Comes God and Bringing Dreams to Life.

The book is available from Anchor/Word Alive and was published by Word Alive Press. ISBN 9781486612208 $23.99 CDN.

• For stores with in Ingram login, more endorsements from across Canada are shown there.

Canadian Christian Retailers Facebook Group Launches

In the wake of concerns over direct-to-consumer marketing by Parasource, Canadian Christian bookstore owners and managers can now continue the conversation at a new* Facebook group, Canadian Christian Retail Insights. Administrators for the page are Lynda Schoffro of The Gospel Lighthouse, Canada’s largest Christian retail chain, and Tim Underwood of Graf-Martin Communications, who is also a frequent contributor of story leads to us here at Christian Book Shop Talk.

Lynda writes,

We need to learn to carve out our niche in the industry by drawing customers into our brick and mortar stores. There are many things that the online shopping environment cannot provide and it is through this channel that we can grow stronger. In our industry, we have the advantage of having customers who are intentional and faithful to us. If we give them the experience they are wanting most of them are sure to choose the experience over the short term gain. One of the ways we can do this is by having well-trained staff who can engage and minister to our clients. Providing them with excellent and well thought selections when it comes to book titles, Bible selection, music, movies and more. I believe that we can be better at this by combining our efforts. Learning from each other and sharing in an open environment for all to learn from each others experience and knowledge.

To do this, we need a platform to communicate… I think that a Facebook group where only retailers are members would be a good way to communicate. I hope that you will feel free and confident enough to share your ideas with all of us.

There are many ways we can learn and grow, including:

  • Sharing book reviews (our favorites or new titles). We all love to read but it’s sometimes hard to find the time. A personal take of what the book means to someone can go a long way when recommending.
  • New product information
  • Display/ Creative in-store ideas
  • Product selection that sells well in our stores – we are all trying to find something new and great to offer our customers. It can be daunting when you start searching the internet for new ideas or walking the floor at the Gift shows. It would be great to offer ideas from experienced buyers.
  • Trade show information — maybe even having something of our own
  • Graf-Martin Communications will add new content to the page every week, including new book trailers, information about book launch teams, faith films coming to your area etc. This content (movie & book trailers) can also be shared on your store’s social media, making it easier for you to find content to share…

Lynda also outlined further the role Tim or Graf-Martin would play:

I’ve also been connecting with Ellen Graf-Martin and the Graf-Martin Communications team about how to better resource our frontline staff to be experts in our field. Her team has a genuine passion for Canadian Christian retail and a desire to keep us in the loop on new titles, faith/family-friendly films and other news pertaining to our customers with the goal being to educate and equip us. We’ve been talking about the best way to communicate this not only to our store, but to all Christian retailers across Canada – at no cost to us.

The Graf-Martin team has offered to send a newsletter once a month by email. The newsletter will contain key reviews from Canadian Christian bloggers, links to media interviews being done by authors, movie trailers, ARCs of new titles and opportunities for free movie tickets. They’ll also be sending content that we can share through our own store newsletters and social media pages.

Again, to join the group, visit Canadian Christian Retail Insights.

Unless something major is breaking, we’ll assume that readers here are also following content there. Christian Book Shop Talk will also continue to be a window into Canadian Christian Retail for our many industry insider friends and subscribers in the United States and abroad who follow this blog.


*The FB page was actually created a year ago, and already had 26 members before this week’s announcement or re-purposing. With this new membership appeal there are now already 45 members.

An Open Letter to Tim Keller

Dear Tim

In between writing this letter’s paragraphs I’m standing at the counter at my store with an ink eraser trying to clean up the covers of your latest book Making Sense of God.

The book retails for $23 in Canada and the condition in which the merchandise was received was completely substandard. Honestly, I’ve received remainder books in better condition than this.

But how on Earth do I phone Penguin Random House and tell them I would like to return the entire shipment? I don’t think that would go over very well. I don’t think I would be believe me.

Here’s the thing. You are partly to blame for this. You are the problem. Your insistence — or that of a literary agent who thinks they are acting on your best interests — on publishing all your books with the plainest, palest, whitest covers possible simply invites a situation in the retail environment where your books become completely shopworn. (For the record, each one of the books pictured above has a much nicer and more durable cover in the UK.)

I think part of that has to do with the fact that your tribe tends to take everything so very seriously. There’s no room for a creative cover. There’s no possibility of an illustration. There’s no consideration for a photographic image. That’s why I’m not attracted to your brand. The picture below shows three copies of the same book. At first I thought that these were some type of shading effect and then I realized it was different on every copy.

Here’s a thought. If you were to someday condescend and publish with one of the Christian owned publishing companies I think you would find that their warehouse staff — i.e. pickers, checkers, packers, and shippers — are more respectful of your product than the people currently handling these books who have no affinity for what you believe. Just something to consider.

I’m sure you think this is superficial; after all it’s what’s inside the books that counts, right? Well, no one will know if stores like mine are reluctant to carry them. We always look twice at books with pale covers and temper our order quantities accordingly. 

By the way, I really enjoyed Reason for God. I realize you can’t judge a book by its cover.

At first I thought it was an effect, but then I noticed the books weren’t marked the same on each copy. Of the 12 copies, not one escaped whatever this was. Considering they were picked out of a case lot — or case loaded to shelving — it makes no sense that all looked like this.

 

Inspirational Value Centre in Peterborough

Back in 2016 we did a story on our visit to the Inspirational Value Centre in Ottawa and decided for this month’s field trip to visit the one in Peterborough, a city about an hour northeast of Toronto.

The store itself is tucked into a small strip plaza in the north end of the city. This was actually our second attempt to get there, the traffic in Peterborough being somewhat congested at times. We knew ahead of time that this would be a considerably smaller store, having seen the location when it was Footprints Bookstore before being purchased by Foundation Distributing. However, the difference was a night-and-day contrast. Whereas the former store was somewhat divided into several sections, the new configuration seemed brighter, cleaner and more streamlined. For a small physical location, it’s an excellent use of space.

I had also expected — and we had been told — that with the same space constraints there would be only merchandise which Foundation wholesales, but that was not correct. There is a generous selection of greeting cards, a very up-to-date selection of music and DVDs from Parasource with lots of depth on each title, and a number of Zondervan and Nelson Bibles, both remainders and full-price.

I noted a number of Harvest House and Barbour titles — which I expected — but again, there was no wall space available for the P. Graham Dunn wall décor which is more dominant in the Ottawa location.

My chief reason for visiting was actually because this, along with Bowmanville, is one of our closest neighbouring stores to our own. But when I turned the conversation to the blog you are now reading and asked if I could take a picture of the interior of the store, things changed abruptly and I was flatly refused. No pictures.

That’s a first.

In the brief exchange that followed there was something said about “not understanding social media” which got me thinking, so I investigated what the store is doing on social media. It was not inspirational at all. On Facebook there was (unless they’re deleting things) nothing posted at all between January 8th and March 9th and 10th, the most recent updates.

On Twitter things were even more bizarre. Despite a huge number of followers for a page common to both locations — I’ve never had much personal success with Twitter for business so I’m rather envious — the page consists almost entirely of scripture verses and pictures of ducks.

So I guess they’re right about not understanding social media. I also frequently wonder if there’s a sector within Christianity who have been trained by the church culture that the default answer to everything is simply, ‘No.’

Rather sad ending to what started out as impressive visit. I’d end with a picture from the web, but apparently the internet is completely devoid of pictures of the location, as is their website.


This is a trade website/blog. For consumers who ended up here from a search engine, the store is located at 184 Marina Blvd., Peterborough.

 

Categories: Uncategorized

Gospel Text in Chatham Closing after 65 Years

On Monday, this announcement was placed on the Facebook page of Gospel Text Bookstore in Chatham.

Over the past 65 years, Gospel Text Bookstore has attempted to be a beacon of light and hope in the Chatham Kent area. It has been a privilege as staff to offer you Christ centered bibles, books, music, and gifts. In this time we have gotten to know many of you in a far deeper way than what would normally happen in most retail locations. It has been a joy being able to serve not only you as customers, but also you as friends.

However, it is with great sadness that we must announce, Gospel Text will be closing its doors June 30th, 2018.

It has been a great honour to serve you all for these many years. We will forever miss the friends we have made through this journey.

Over the next several months, we would enjoy hearing your stories and experiences of how Gospel Text has blessed you over the years. Please share these stories, either by email, in person, or here on our Facebook page.

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Trump on Warpath Against Amazon

Categories: Uncategorized