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ICRS addresses industry concerns but sees big attendance drop PDF Print E-mail
Written by Christine D. Johnson   
Thursday, 02 July 2015 03:36 PM EDT

VoiceOfTheMartyrs-ICRS15Christian retailers gathered with suppliers and distributors at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, June 28-July 1, where a significantly fewer number of attendees convened. Those who did, however, benefited from a full program of training, discussions of industry issues and exhibit hall appointments. Hosted by CBA under the theme "Expect," the event emphasized the need for hope and courage in the face of business and social challenges.

CBA said convention registration numbers suffered because of broader industry events and currency exchange rates for international attendees. Total attendance declined 25 percent from last year to 3,002. Exhibitor attendance was down the most because exhibitors brought fewer people to the show. International attendance declined 14 percent.

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Study: Christian fiction readers buy, read more books PDF Print E-mail
Written by Christine D. Johnson   
Thursday, 02 July 2015 02:17 PM EDT

FictionProductTrends-ICRS15-AuthorPanel-PamHillmanChristian fiction readers read more than the national average and are more frequent book buyers, which creates a core customer opportunity for Christian stores.

Nearly 50 percent of Christian-fiction readers read more than 10 books annually. By comparison, only 36 percent of American adults read more than 10 books per year, according to a 2014 Pew Research study.

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Josh McDowell offers charge to church bookstores PDF Print E-mail
Written by Ginny McCabe   
Thursday, 02 July 2015 12:59 PM EDT

JoshMcDowell-DottieChurch bookstore managers and staff and those considering entering the church store market gathered Tuesday afternoon for a Church Bookstore Connection Center Reception. The RSVP-only event at the 2015 International Christian Retail Show featured Josh McDowell, internationally renowned author and speaker. In addition to the message, meal and mingling, church store retailers also were gifted with a number of books from publishers, including McDowell's latest, God-Breathed (Barbour Publishing).

“Josh McDowell is an industry veteran, who has absolutely been at the forefront of cultural trends and groundbreaking ministry for over five decades,” said Geni Hulsey as she introduced the guest speaker.

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Film buzz big among retailers, authors and suppliers PDF Print E-mail
Written by Natalie Gillespie   
Thursday, 02 July 2015 10:49 AM EDT

ICRS15-FilmRoundtable-GillespieThe buzz about films at ICRS took center stage at ICRS in Orlando, as retailers were urged by film companies and distributors to promote movies in their stores, encourage customers to see films during their opening day or weekend and to watch for new releases heading their way. Retailers, vendors, authors and filmmakers attended screenings, workshops, roundtable sessions and DVD release presentations throughout this week's International Christian Retail Show.

At Tuesday’s Film Product Trends Workshop, Propeller’s Bob Elder told retailers to look for films to appear in theaters as special events for one night or a few nights only, like 2015’s The Drop Box and Four Blood Moons.

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Don Piper's '90 Minutes in Heaven' draws capacity crowd at ICRS PDF Print E-mail
Written by Natalie Gillespie   
Thursday, 02 July 2015 10:20 AM EDT

DonPiper-Eva-GillespieFaith-based films were big business at ICRS Orlando, with screenings throughout the week. The best-attended event was the Tuesday-night screening of 90 Minutes in Heaven, a drama from Giving Films (Family Christian Ministries) based on the best-selling book by Don Piper. More than 250 packed into the screening before organizers began turning people away because the room had reached capacity. Piper and his wife, Eva, attended and were visibly moved by the movie, which is based on Don’s story of dying in a car accident and going to heaven.

“This was the first time we’ve seen it with a big group of people, and it was very hard to watch and re-live it,” Don said. “It is very true to the way it all happened.”

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General Session panelists ‘hug It out’ after heated exchange PDF Print E-mail
Written by Natalie Gillespie   
Thursday, 02 July 2015 09:54 AM EDT

Wallington-Stetzer-Vujicic-CreditGillespieTuesday morning's ICRS General Session was supposed to stay focused on “Connecting the Future,” giving retailers insight into “Church, Store and Digital Initiatives.” Instead, Executive Director of LifeWay Research Ed Stetzer, who moderated a panel, and Life Without Limbs founder and author Nick Vujiic, who was a panelist, got into a brief battle over statistics about Christians leaving the church.

“I think you need to be careful,” Vujicic cautioned Stetzer after Stetzer gave a keynote speech that contradicted some widely reported claims that Christianity and the church in America are dying. Stetzer gave no ground, and after a few minutes of heated argument, the two agreed to discuss it further backstage after their presentation.

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Integra introduces in-store kiosks to grow wall-art sales PDF Print E-mail
Written by Rhonda Sholar   
Thursday, 02 July 2015 08:38 AM EDT

IntegraMyArtfully-DavidAmster-SholarInteractive technology is redefining the way consumers can shop for wall décor. Available for retailers to see firsthand this week at the International Christian Retail Show in Orlando, Florida, Integra Interactive unveiled two options for stores to help shoppers visualize what wall art might look like in their homes before ever making a purchase.

My Artfully is Integra’s in-store solution to capitalize on the growth explosion of home décor as fueled by HGTV. The new kiosk shows wall décor in actual size and high resolution to consumers.

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Vendors display skill and scripture with new gift items PDF Print E-mail
Written by Rhonda Sholar   
Thursday, 02 July 2015 08:01 AM EDT

ShannaNoel-IllustratedFaith-SholarGift vendors at the 2015 International Christian Retail Show displayed a significant quality of artistry and passion for the message that their products carry. Prayer and a commitment to God’s Word were themes the vendors got behind.

Official licensees for products based on the August film War Room, including Carpentree, DaySpring and Kerusso, debuted gift items with the theme of prayer intended to have an extended shelf life. 

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