Family Christian will soon close all of its 240 stores across 36 states after over 80 years in business.
The Company President Chuck Bengochea explained the closure of all Family Christian stores as “changing consumer behavior and declining sales”. Over 3,000 employees will lose their jobs.
“We had two very difficult years post-bankruptcy,” said Bengochea. “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.”
Steve Biondo, Senior VP of Human Resources and Organizational Development, added, “At its core, Family Christian is an organization with a heart for service. 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. Through their efforts, there is no question we have transformed lives now and for eternity.”
“Family Christian has left a powerful legacy of helping people find, grow, share and celebrate their faith in Jesus Christ,” reported Bengochea. “Today and always, we are grateful to God for the privilege of serving Him and look forward to finishing strong for His name’s sake.”
Curtis Riskey, CBA President, said he is sorry that all their employees will lose their jobs. “CBA is grateful for the work of Family Christian Stores and its significant history over the past 85 years and we are confident God has used the company and its employees to put life-giving products into the hands of those who have needed the message. Family Christian Stores has been an important part of a global network of Christian product providers,” he mentioned. “While their closing will be felt strongly by many, their decision will not change the strength of our industry’s mission to make God’s name known.”
Riskey underlined the relevance of adjusting to an ever-changing marketplace and alterations in consumer behavior, admitting that this news can be “a catalyst that encourages us in the Christian products industry to find new ways to work together and learn from each other as we continue to equip people with life-giving resources.”