Popular Christian book store, LifeWay Christian Store announced Wednesday that would be closing several of its store locations due to a significant decline in sales.
According to the Baptist Press, LifeWay Christian Resources president Thom Rainer sent out an email to all LifeWay employees to announce the disappointing move. He wrote, “We prayed and hoped that our investments in and commitments to the LifeWay stores would prove fruitful. That just has not been the case.”
He continued, “To the contrary, we not only continue to see an erosion in the brick-and-mortar channel, we have seen an accelerated rate of erosion in recent months. It was our hope that greater traffic would result in greater sales, and that with our expense reductions and product cost savings, we would be able to offset sales declines.”
“That hope has not been realized with the declines we have seen since September,” he added.
Rainer went on to note that the company would be shifting its focus away from brick-and-mortar sales and toward online sales.
Rainer wrote, “In simple terms, a strategic shift is required for moving more and more of our resources to a dynamic digital strategy. We will be transitioning many of those resources from our LifeWay stores to digital channels.”
He added, “The good news is that we will be better prepared to meet the future. The challenging news is that some of our stores will have to close."
The Christian book store has not yet announced how many store locations they will have to close, though, since 2009 LifeWay’s operating expenses have far exceeded its sales, the Christian Post reports. According to the Baptist Press, LifeWay’s operating expenses surpassed its sales by around $35.5 million in 2017.
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