Home > Uncategorized > Are Split-Function Christian Book Retailers the Future?

Are Split-Function Christian Book Retailers the Future?

When we moved out of Toronto to Cobourg, about an hour east of the big city 30+ years ago, there were few Christian bookstores on the Highway 401 corridor that didn’t double as something else.

Bowmanville doubled as a consumer electronics and satellite television store.
Trenton doubled as a bookkeeping office for an accounting firm.
Belleville‘s store owner doubled as property manager for the shopping centre, having to shut down the bookstore in the event of an emergency.
Napanee was “Country Waterbeds and Christian Books.”
Kingston’s owner was developing software for other stores to use and was an itinerant Alliance speaker.
Brockville doubled as a rental and property management office for the owners’ multiple apartment buildings.

Will this model return?

A large store in Scarborough got involved in clothing sales, and later divided their store in two, making the other half a banquet and special events space.
The current Belleville store is also a consignment store and also sells coffee and ice cream.
The Adventist store in Oshawa has a large section in the back devoted to food sales in keeping with its health emphasis.
Several stores in western Ontario, and one in Abbotsford, BC are invested in toys and games.
Finally, more of us are selling jigsaw puzzles than ever before.

Forgive the Ontario-centric nature of my list, but there are no doubt similar examples in the Maritimes or Western provinces. Feel free to mention ones I missed in the comments.

Other merchandise lines offer Christian retailers a two-stream income stream making the store less reliant on book and Bible sales, and less subject to the attacks of online sellers.

Often, as in today’s picture, the two areas of focus are not related. Do they need to be?


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