Christian Retailing

NEWSLETTERS Current Issue Family Christian finds ‘likeminded ownership’ in buyout
Family Christian finds ‘likeminded ownership’ in buyout PDF Print E-mail
Written by Christine D. Johnson   
Friday, 16 November 2012 12:17 PM EST

Family Christian Stores plans to give 100% of its profits to benefit Christian causes, mainly ministries serving widows and orphans, under the chain’s new ownership announced yesterday. The 280-store chain that employs about 4,000 people will continue its operations in a largely “seamless” way, said CEO Cliff Bartow.

In the buyout, Family’s management team partnered with a group of Atlanta-based Christian businessmen to acquire the company from its private equity owners. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. 

Family Christian reported that while its ownership structure and financial purpose has changed, there will be no impact on core operations, stores or staff.

While the investors live in the Atlanta area, the chain will continue operating out of its Grand Rapids, Mich., base. The investment group includes Richard L. Jackson, founder and CEO of Jackson Healthcare, the nation’s third-largest health-care staffing company; Larry Powell, president of Powell Family Enterprises, a private equity investment company; and Michael Kendrick, founder of Blueprint for Life and Ministry Ventures, a nonprofit organization dedicated to launching new ministries.

“Each of these men have been blessed with professional success and share a mutual calling to give back to help those in need,” Bartow said. “This alignment of business acumen and Christian calling led them to the collective decision to join with us to acquire Family Christian and move it from an organization that contributes 10% of its profits to one that contributes 100% of its profits to faith-based charities and ministries.”

Private equity-owned since 1994, the company was founded in 1932. Family was “interested in getting off the private equity treadmill,” Bartow told Christian Retailing, so when he met the investors through his work with orphans, the option came to the fore. “We were looking for likeminded ownership,” he said.

Profits will be coursed through Family’s nonprofit James Fund. 

“It’s really important that the associates of Family Christian that are involved in these nonprofits to have the ability to direct and have a voice in where the money goes because it’s really important that money goes where you have some interest and activity,” said Jackson, now sole member of James Fund. 

“Literally we’ve touched millions of orphans’ lives over the last eight years,” Bartow added, “and we’ve given away about $7 million since its inception in 2004.”

Donating 100% of profits means that management still will be focused on how business is going.

“Since we’re giving 100% of our profits away, we want to invest our capital in ways that maximizes our ability to give in the future, and if that means spending capital on new stores, we’ll do that,” Bartow said. “If it means spending it on other things that can grow our revenues in better ways, then we would invest it in that fashion.”

 Family continues to be committed to its brick-and-mortar “lifestyle stores,” Bartow said, though e-commerce is also excelling. Customers will also find four new digital devices in its stores starting next week in time for the Christmas season. The company has partnered with Kobo to utilize its technology as a digital leader and has chosen to drop its recently introduced Edifi e-reader.

Family is opening two new stores today, one in the Philadelphia area, its first in that market, and another in St. Joseph, Mo. Another location will open in Tuscon, Ariz., in January.

 

In this current issue:

Vote in March in Christian Retailing’s Best awards

News image

It’s time to vote! Christian Retailing invites anyone involved in...

READ MORE

New Hampshire store wins Joyce Meyer book display contest

News image

In 2014, Faithwords, a division of Hachette Book Group, held...

READ MORE

New product accessibility highlights AmericasMart March Market

News image

Industry-leading educational programming and collaborations complement an efficient product sourcing...

READ MORE

‘God’s Not Dead’ takes top honors at Movieguide Awards

News image

Pure Flix Entertainment’s best-selling DVD God’s Not Dead received top...

READ MORE

‘The Devil in Pew Number Seven' to hit the big screen

News image

AFFIRM Films and Mass Hysteria Entertainment Inc. have announced their...

READ MORE

The Parable Group launches 2nd annual writing contest

News image

The Parable Group, its retail partners and WestBow Press—the strategic...

READ MORE

Destiny Image: 'We made the right decision'

News image

Citing major financial considerations, Nori Media Group CEO Don Nori...

READ MORE

LifeWay signs letter of intent on Nashville property

News image

After analyzing more than a dozen offers to purchase its...

READ MORE

700 Club, Joni to feature lauded HCI authors

News image

HCI Books authors Tonier Cain and Erin Merryn will get...

READ MORE

InterVarsity Press inks Tampa pastor to book deal

News image

Pastor, author and recording artist Tommy “Urban D.” Kyllonen has...

READ MORE

Worthy signs Sandra Hagee Parker for debut book

News image

Worthy Publishing announces it signing of author Sandra Hagee Parker—daughter...

READ MORE

Tuesday marks final day for CR’s Best nominations

News image

Vendors and authors still have only one more day to...

READ MORE
100%
-
+
0
Show options

a