By Amanda Winkle
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Christian faith-based book and gift store Family Christian is closing all of its 240 stores nationwide due to “declining sales,” according to a Thursday news releasefrom the company.
The closure affects employees in 36 states, including Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Washington.
Company President Chuck Bengochea said in the release that the company had two difficult years post-bankruptcy.
“Despite improvements in product assortment and the store experience, sales continued to decline. In addition, we were not able to get the pricing and terms we needed from our vendors to successfully compete in the market. We have prayerfully looked at all possible options, trusting God’s plan for our organization, and the difficult decision to liquidate is our only recourse,” Bengochea said.
The nonprofit chain employed more than 3,000 people and sold Christian merchandise, memorabilia and literature.
“We are grateful for all of the millions of lives that have been impacted thanks to our guests’ and employees’ heart for bringing the light of Jesus to the darkest corners of our world,” Senior Vice President of Human Resources and Organizational Development Steve Biondo said in the release. “Through their efforts there is no question we have transformed lives now and for eternity.”
On its website, Family Christian said all merchandise is now being sold for up to 30 percent off.