Media Information on Christian Retail
For more information on CBA or the Christian retail industry, contact Kelsey Donahue at email@example.com.
CBA: The Association for Christian Retail
CBA (formerly called Christian Booksellers Association) is the trade association for approximately 1,700 Christian stores, including independents, regional and national chains, church-owned stores, franchises, and marketing groups, plus more than 500 book publishers, record companies, gift companies and other product suppliers. Christian stores provide Bibles, Christian books, curriculum, apparel, music, videos, gifts, greeting cards, children's resources, and other materials to support churches and help individuals grow their faith.
For 61 years, CBA has helped its members by leading the industry in analyzing critical issues, developing industry-wide strategic direction, and providing highly valued business solutions, such as data tools and intelligence, industry research, and retail consulting and training. CBA also hosts the annual International Christian Retail Show. The association is based in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Size of the Industry
Sales of Christian products by CBA member suppliers through all distribution channels are valued at more than $4.63 billion.
“This Channel sells more Christian products than all the other channels combined,” said Curtis Riskey, CBA executive director. “Christian retail’s unparalleled assortment means increased choice for the customer and greater exposure for the supplier. Suppliers understand that Christian retailers are joined with them in their mission, and are committed at a heart level. For us, ‘Christian’ is not a category; it’s a store-wide commitment.”
Christian Retail Shopping Trends
Christian stores typically see themselves in ministry providing life-changing resources to Christians and those exploring Christianity. They are committed to helping individuals grow in their faith and to supporting the resource needs of local churches, ministries, and community groups.
The typical Christian-store customer is very active in faith, attends church regulary, reads the Bible, volunteers at church, and is very loyal to Christian stores.
Research by R.R. Bowker of a broad cross-section of all consumers reveals:
In addition to books and Bibles, today's Christian stores carry a wide array of apparel, children's products, curriculum, gifts, greeting cards, music, software, and videos. They offer a wide range of services in an inviting atmosphere.
Finding a Christian Retail Store
Thousands of new consumers make contact with CBA member stores each month through www.christianstores.org and through CBA’s toll-free store locator number, (800) 991-7747. When consumers call CBA’s store-direct 800 number, the call is routed directly to a CBA team member.
While Christian stores are very diverse in their mission and customer base, the primary market served by Christian Retail stores is the evangelical market. About half of Christian retail stores also seek to serve the needs of Catholic customers and Spanish-language customers. About a quarter seek to serve the urban market, and about a third seek to serve the home school market.
CBA Events: Where the Industry Meets
Each summer, the Christian industry gathers at the International Christian Retail Show. During this networking and buying event, representatives from all 50 states and more than 50 countries come together for the largest annual gathering of Christian retailers and product suppliers in the world.
Newest and upcoming book and media projects with heart-felt messages and life teachings are released here along with other Christian products exhibited by more than 300 companies. This is the largest Christian-resources event of the year where retailers place orders, research new product and marketing trends, glean ideas for merchandising techniques and store promotions, and attend business seminars on advertising, marketing, and financial matters. The International Christian Retail Show is the place to build relationships among colleagues, benchmark best practices, and more.
The religious book category is a bright spot in U.S. publishing as it continues to increase is sales and impact. Christian titles represent about 98% of all religious book titles. Nearly 300 million copies of religious titles are sold through all stores.
Nearly 12% of Americans spend more than $50 a month on religious products, and another 11% spend $25 to $29, according to a national survey of 1,721 adults by Baylor University. One in three Americans surveyed made at least one purchase in a Christian bookstore in 2005, says Baylor sociologist Jerry Park. They're buying books, music, DVDs, toys, gifts, home decor and "witness wear" such as jewelry, T-shirts and more.
Who Buys Christian Books, and where do they buy them?
According to a 2008 study by Bowker’s PubTrack Consumer and in collaboration with Christianity Today Inc.:
Accounting for 57% of all Christian book revenues from the Christian segment, active Christians are the biggest buyers of Christian books on the globe, and they buy more books at Christian retail than any other retail outlets. They have a significantly higher dollar-spend and greater purchase frequency at Christian retail.
Christian Music Trends
Digital sales grew 940% since 2004, but the overall music market fell by around 30% in that period. Sales were down 12% in the first half of 2009 and the full year figure is likely to show a similar trend, according to International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI).
In 2009, despite the high-growth of digital-music sales, more than 72% of Christian-music sales were physical products, and more than 27% digital (including Track Equivalent Albums where 10 digital tracks equals 1 album unit), according to the Christian Music Trade Assoc. This is slightly down from 2009’s 78% and 22% respectively. However, as of May 2010, nearly 53% of overall music sales are of physical products and 47% digital (including TEA), compared to 2009’s nearly 61% and 39% respectively.
Overall music sales through Christian stores decreased 27.8% from 2005 to 2009, and decreased 28.7 % since 2006 --the last year an increase in album sales over a previous year was reported. The last time that happened prior to 2006 was 2001.
Analysts indicate the shift to digital music has meant consumers are actually buying less music overall because of piracy and the fact that consumers are more likely to become aware of products in stores rather than online. Stores reflect who the consumer is and strongly influences the context of how and why they buy.
Contact Information for Major Chains and Marketing Groups in the Christian Retail Channel
Indian Rocks Beach, FL
San Luis Obispo, CA
Berean Christian Stores
Family Christian Stores
Grand Rapids, MI
Lifeway Christian Stores
Mardel Christian & Educational Supply
Oklahoma City, OK
Association of Logos Bookstores