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LifeWay to close all stores

by Lynde Langdon
Posted 3/20/19, 04:38 pm

LifeWay Christian Resources announced Wednesday it will close all 170 of its retail stores this year and focus on digital sales. In January, the publishing arm of the Southern Baptist Convention said it would reduce its brick-and-mortar locations due to declining customer traffic and sales. “While we had hoped to keep some stores open, current market projections show this is no longer a viable option,” acting President and CEO Brad Waggoner said in a statement.

The company said Wednesday that it interacts with five times as many people through its digital platforms as it does through LifeWay Christian Stores. The timing of store closings will vary, but the company expects all of them to shut down by the end of the year.

LifeWay became the country’s largest Christian retail chain in 2017 when Family Christian Stores, which had 240 locations, closed all of its stores two years after filing for bankruptcy.

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Lynde Langdon

Lynde is a WORLD Digital’s managing editor and reports on popular and fine arts. She lives in Wichita, Kan., with her husband and two daughters. Follow Lynde on Twitter @lmlangdon.

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  • JerryM
    Posted: Wed, 03/20/2019 04:59 pm

    In the meantime, we read of Amazon HQ and its multimillion dollar subsidies.  In one sense they are being paid to gobble up the "little guys" while F2F experiences are being replaced by virtual ones...

    One correction: "acting Ppresident" 

  • Web Editor
    Posted: Wed, 03/20/2019 09:00 pm

    Thank you for pointing out the error. We have corrected it. 

  • OldMike
    Posted: Wed, 03/20/2019 11:42 pm

    The way people do business, like most things, changes. A retailer changes with peoples’ preferences, or dies. 


  • news2me
    Posted: Thu, 03/21/2019 02:12 pm

    We still miss Borders.

    Our daughter and I liked Borders. But most of her purchases were with coupons. 

    Now she is a patron of Barnes. She waits for the coupons and she is a member so she can get free shipping.

    Like Borders, Barnes allows people in the cafe to read books and magazines for free. Many of them just leave them there.

    People don't want to buy books that look used. 

    I don't like or trust Amazon.