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Family Christian Stores Begin a New Life

fc-logoWith a tumultuous season now in the past, Family Christian Stores have had a legal resuscitation and the chain enters into the 2015-2016 selling period with a mixture of hopes and challenges. A lengthy article at MiBiz.com is worth reading in its entirety, some highlights are below, but you should click here to link.

Some key points that stood out to this observer:

  • …the senior management team of the new Family Christian is much of the same team that took the company into bankruptcy.
  • “We need (multiple) outlets in our industry,” said Curtis Riskey, president of Colorado Springs, Colo.-based Christian Booksellers Association. “Family Christian is the largest chain, so it’s important that we retain those outlets. For the suppliers that were part of the proceedings, to be able to keep doing business with their largest customer is important.”
  • Aside from closing approximately 15 of the company’s stores, the management team’s agenda includes better defining the Family Christian brand, enhancing the look and feel of stores and shifting to a hybrid e-commerce sales-and-distribution model.
  • “We’re never going to compete with Amazon — that’s a losing proposition,” [Family Christian CEO Chuck] Bengochea said. “But I don’t want (customers) to have to wait a week and a half just because (they’ve) ordered a Christian product. I want it to be out there in three days or less.”
  • “We have a five-year plan and we don’t believe it’s double-digit growth,” Bengochea said. “We believe there is single-digit growth, which the (Christian retailing) industry has not been experiencing, but we believe we can do that. Our model is very healthy. We have new stores in the model and good EBITDA earnings growth. But it’s not a high-growth business.”

Again, there is much, much more to read in this well-reported analysis.

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  1. September 3, 2015 at 11:39 pm

    So good to hear of the resolve however I can only imagine the hardship this is causing our publishers. I hope they can survive this and find other places to sell their books and not have to depend so much on Family Christian Stores. I’m not sure trying to increase e-commerce will actually help though. They really need to talk with their customers and find out what they need and want and proceed from there.

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