Christian Retailing

NEWSLETTERS Current Issue Cokesbury stores to close, 'transition initiative' announced
Cokesbury stores to close, 'transition initiative' announced PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 06 November 2012 11:21 AM EST

The United Methodist Publishing House (UMPH), Cokesbury's parent company, will close all of the historic chain's 57 stores by April 30, 2013.

Announcing the move Nov. 5, the UMPH board of directors said it will launch "a transition initiative" for its retail division. CokesburyNext will redirect focus and resources toward expanding and enhancing products and services at Cokesbury.com, the Cokesbury Call Center and through more than 40 sales representatives. The chain will be closing its 38 brick-and-mortar locations and 19 seminary stores, with the first shuttering in January.

"Cokesbury has been serving for more than 200 years, and during that time has continuously adapted to the changing landscape affecting congregations and their leaders," said UMPH President and Publisher Neil Alexander. "A shift toward all things digital and the convenience of placing orders at any time is the reality of Cokesbury today. It is difficult to see the closure of Cokesbury local stores, but doing so will allow us to make a greater investment in the ways of shopping with Cokesbury that customers increasingly prefer."

UMPH officials said 185 full-time employees and 100-plus part-time staff will be laid off by the store closings. UMPH will provide both severance packages and job search services for staff.

Cokesbury, which offers resources for congregations, seminaries, church leaders, study groups and individuals, has seen a steady increase in sales through Cokesbury.com and its Cokesbury Call Center operation in the past 10 years.

At the same time, the number of Cokesbury customers relying solely on store locations has steadily declined. In the most recent customer survey, only 15% of Cokesbury's customers reported shopping exclusively in stores, UMPH officials said. As a result of changes in the industry and the consumer shift to digital shopping and purchasing, the local stores are no longer financially viable.

Click here for more information on CokesburyNext.

 

In this current issue:

Apple Pay launches for mobile purchasers

News image

Apple has announced that customers can start making payments with...

READ MORE

Barbour fiction dominates ECPA’s best-seller list

News image

Barbour Publishing has announced that its fiction titles currently hold...

READ MORE

'Inspirational' bands receive American Music Awards nominations

News image

Casting Crowns, Newsboys and Hillsong United have been nominated for...

READ MORE

Stephen Mansfield’s timely book receives media attention

News image

New York Times best-selling author Stephen Mansfield is receiving major...

READ MORE

Christian publishers sign with Bookmasters for distribution

News image

Bookmasters has signed new distribution agreements with three Christian publishing...

READ MORE

CBA previews 2015 ICRS, opens exhibitor registration

News image

Nearly 20 representatives from more than a dozen companies were...

READ MORE

Thom Rainer’s church-focused books still going strong

News image

Thom S. Rainer’s I Am a Church Member (B&H Books)...

READ MORE

Dan Rich announces retirement after 40 years in publishing

News image

David C Cook Chief Publishing Officer Dan Rich will retire...

READ MORE

U.S. retail sales fall in September

News image

Retail sales dropped by 0.3% to $442.7 billion in September,...

READ MORE

NRF poll forecasts increased 2014 holiday spending

News image

The National Retail Federation (NRF) is forecasting holiday sales to...

READ MORE

Barbour author Vickie McDonough reaches sales milestone

News image

Barbour Publishing author Vickie McDonough recently surpassed the 1 million-copy...

READ MORE

GRAMMY-winning artist J Moss escapes house fire

News image

GRAMMY-winning producer and Stellar Award-winning artist J Moss escaped a...

READ MORE
100%
-
+
0
Show options

a