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Canadian Dollar Continues Slide

David C. Cook Canada Increases Conversion Factor to 20%

The Canadian dollar closed Friday just shy of 90-cent territory, closing at .9111 to the U.S. dollar.

David C. Cook has increased many prices to a 20% conversion rate, though the change is not across the board. At 5:30 PM on Friday, The Action Bible had jumped from 28.99 to 31.99; while Francis Chan’s Multiply and Forgotten God, with a U.S. list price of $14.99, were now pegged at $17.99. However, Chan’s Crazy Love, which also has a $14.99 US MSRP was only $15.99 as of 5:30 PM on Cook’s B2B website. Broadman & Holman titles were also converting at the same rate with The Love Dare an example at the same price point.

For months Cook’s conversion rate had been an attractive feature for stores. With a U.S. dollar costing 1.0976 at Friday’s close, the disparity between that and Cook’s 20% conversion is significant. Canada is considered an extension of the U.S. market for royalty purposes, you can blame literary agents (lawyers in disguise) for that. Historically, Christian publishers did not put U.S. prices on the books themselves until about a decade ago. That change caused customers to be more aware of the pricing differences, and basically drove Canadian customers in the Christian market in droves to buy books from Christian Book Distributors (CBD), Amazon, or a number of denominational niche online vendors.

While a more expensive U.S. dollar does have the potential to bring some online customers back to Canadian brick-and-mortar retailers, a 20% difference has the opposite effect, and drives other customers — and some retailers — to make their purchases in the U.S.

With most bookstores reeling from depressed 4th quarter results and a poor showing in December, the Canadian price hike simply couldn’t come at a worse time. Stores looking to survive in the long-term need to exercise extreme caution in buying; the days of “stack ’em high” mass-quantity displays are over. If the dollar continues on its present trajectory and Canadian distributors can’t or won’t get subsidized pricing from their U.S. partners, the days of free-standing, brick-and-mortar Christian bookstore in Canada are numbered.

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  1. January 17, 2014 at 7:53 pm

    To my fellow dealers: I’m curious, did any of you get a heads-up from Cook that the prices were changing, or a letter after the fact?

  2. rae-anne
    January 20, 2014 at 12:06 pm

    nope. Thanks for putting it out there though. January refills have been alot lower this time and I have made some big orders from discount places like books 4 eternity.

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