Family Christian Stores To Shut Down All 240 Outlets
After 85 years of operation, Family Christian has announced it will close all its stores, which will impact more than 3,000 employees. The chain of more than 240 Christian-themed merchandise stores operating in 36 states bills itself as the world's largest retailer of Bible-related books and music.
The company was founded in 1931 as Zondervan Corp. in West Michigan and grew to become the nation's largest Christian publishing house. Harper Collins acquired the company and renamed Zondervan's bookstores to Family Christian stores in 1997.
FCS' financial woes began when sales steadily shrunk from $305 million in 2008 to only $216 million in 2015. In the same year, the company filed for bankruptcy, which required the publishers to restructure its $127-million debt. The store tried to improve its product variety but ultimately, it seems, it couldn't compete with online retailers.
In a press release, Family Christian cited "changing consumer behavior and declining sales" for its insolvency.