The U.S.’s largest distributor of Christian products is going out of business after suffering financial losses due in large part to online retailers.
According to ChristianityToday.com, Send the Light Distribution (STL) used to be the major provider of books, toys, and various other merchandise to Christian bookstores and other retailers.
The shift in the way consumers purchase products as well as the bankruptcy of Family Christian Stores (FCS) last year, has led STL president Glenn Bailey to announce that the company will be going out of business.
“When companies get creative and find new and better ways to do things, like Amazon Prime … at the end of the day, that kind of thing also destroys the current or past way that business had been done,” STL president Glenn Bailey told CT. “That’s our basic problem.”
FCS, which was the U.S.’s largest chain of Christian retail stores, filed for bankruptcy earlier this year, erasing the $127 million they owed to STL.
Bailey said the bankruptcy of FCS was a “contributing” factor to STL’s failure to survive in the current market, but probably only sped up their inviability by a year or so.
STL’s closing will mean that about 150 of their 500 vendors will need to find other ways to distribute their products.
Current market trends show that, while sales are down for Christian fiction, they remain high for Christian nonfiction and for Bibles.
Publication date: June 2, 2016