Several Christian bookstores saw increased overall sales in 2020 despite mandated shutdowns and social distancing due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Christian Retail Association surveyed independent bookstores to determine how the COVID-19 pandemic affected their businesses and end-of-the-year profit margins last year. Of the 82 stores that participated in the survey, 70 were required to close, 10 stayed open and 2 were required to close at two different time periods. Further, of the stores included in the survey, 22 saw an increase in sales in 2020.
The comparison sales chart within the report between 2019 and 2020 looked grim, however, year-end results had many owners thankful and giving God the glory for their endurance and success.
Stephanie Gann of Living Water Bookstore noted in the survey, “Though I thought the COVID-shutdown would be the end of us, God has been SO faithful. We’ve been able to pay our bills on time every month and we had a little leftover at the end of the year.”
Kelli Malm of Christian Connection participated in the survey as well, and noted, “We did well—$12,000 down for the whole year, but October-December was better than 2019. We ended the year in the black.”
Store owners indicated that added services kept them going, such as curbside pickup, ship to home, live social media sales and website sales. Many are continuing some of the added services this year.
Supply and demand in retail constantly changes as our culture changes. No doubt, an unprecedented pandemic stirred up the retail world. Many of the bookstore owners answered the supply and demand shift by adding face masks stamped with inspirational words, hand sanitizer, communion cups, lotions and oils, and games. The report indicated the overall top 3 selling products in the surveyed bookstores were Bibles, face masks and Communion cups
Charlene Wiggs, of On the Third Day, indicated the best reason for us to keep on keeping on during this pandemic, “Many people have come into the store with a real desire to get to know who Jesus is and who He is to them. First time in their lives they want a Bible!”
Photo courtesy: Freddie Marriage/Unsplash
Crystal A Dixon is contributing writer at ChristianHeadlines.com, Devotableapp.com. Visit her blog at crystaladixon.com