Family Christian — the biggest seller of Christian books and merchandise in the nation — has announced the permanent closure of hundreds of stores nationwide.
Another bookstore bites the dust
After 85 years in business, Family Christian announced Feb. 23 that it will shutter the more than 240 retail locations it operates in 36 states.
After emerging from bankruptcy in 2015, the chain continued to face difficult retail headwinds with an increasing number of shoppers turning to the Internet rather than physical stores for their purchases.
This has proven doubly true in the book business, which has seen the collapse of retailers like Borders, Waldenbooks, Crown Books, Encore Books and others since the advent of Amazon and other online sellers.
‘We had two very difficult years post-bankruptcy,’ Family Christian president Chuck Bengochea said in a press release. ‘Despite improvements in product assortment and the store experience, sales continued to decline. In addition, we were not able to get the pricing and terms we needed from our vendors to successfully compete in the market.’
Family Christian leaves behind a legacy of ministry initiatives that provided humanitarian aid for more than 14 million orphans, widows and oppressed people across the globe.
The chain operated stores in the following states:
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- South Carolina
- West Virginia