Toronto’s Largest Christian Retailer, Faith Family Books Closes
It is with great regret that the owners of Faith Family Books & Gifts must announce that we are closing our McCowan/Milner store.
We have been blessed to be able to serve you the Christian community in Toronto during very difficult and constantly changing economic conditions. After starting the business 6 years ago, we were immediately caught in the maelstrom of a significantly declining book industry with diminishing profits and sales due to the surge of internet and e-book purchases. We were able to endure 4 years of expected start-up losses but then at the end of 2013 we were hit with the unexpected ice storm and polar vortex storm that nearly crippled our business. This was followed immediately by very significant health assaults on all three owners throughout 2014. The stress of maintaining this business has taken a toll on our financial and physical health from which we have not recovered.
We looked for new owners to take over the business but none were found. So after much prayer and the realization that we are no longer able to sustain further losses, we the owners are forced to close down our operation starting immediately.
We are grateful to ALL OF YOU for your partnership over the last 6 years. We pray that God will rise up new owners who will start another Christian store to serve you our customers in the future. Please let us know if there is anything we can do for you and we promise to keep you informed of further developments of our store closing.
Thank you from all of the staff, management and owners of Faith Family Books & Gifts.
It’s not known at this time what the plan is for the disposition of remaining assets at the store, which consist mostly of store fixtures. Reports are that vendors with product on consignment were able to get their merchandise before the doors closed.
Remaining stores within Toronto itself include Cornerstone on Finch W. at Yonge, Agape Christian Marketplace on Steeles east of Highway 400, Atwell Books at Catch the Fire (the former Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship), Crux Books on the U. of T. Campus for academic books and the Canadian Bible Society store on Lawrence west of Victoria Park (which carries mostly Bibles); plus at least three Roman Catholic stores: Broughton’s, Joseph’s Inspirational and Daughters of St. Paul; and a couple of stores operated by the Evangelical Chinese community with product in both Chinese and English.
We checked out Chapters in Scarborough on Saturday night, but the product mix there consisted mostly of new releases with little back-list. More on that in this column.
Were you a Faith customer? In addition to our regular readership of people who work in the trade, this column is also going to attract consumers in the GTA who are now hearing about Faith’s closing. In addition to the stores listed in the article, there are a number of stores outside the city limits which we didn’t mention, including stores in Newmarket, Barrie, Mississauga, Oakville, Bowmanville, and my own outlet store in Cobourg (about an hour east Toronto). Generally, it’s the larger cities where Christian stores are closing, this year alone including Langley BC, Edmonton, Calgary, Ottawa and now East Toronto. But small town stores continue to serve customers in places like Cobourg, and also Perth, Haliburton and the large network of twelve stores in Western Ontario operating under The Gospel Lighthouse banner in a mix of large and small towns. These stores need your support.
Postscript: I know a number of consumers and churches in the GTA might feel at this point it’s time to simply give up, and surrender to A–zon. Before you do, be sure to read this information.