Guest Editor James Barnett says stores should
EMPHASIZE THE TOUCH FACTOR
SERVING THE $4.6 BILLION CHRISTIAN PRODUCTS INDUSTRY
UA RY // 7. 00
The ind ust ry a you i ge ip www. ch ri ti anretai i ng. om
Brick-and-mortar retailers can
beat the Internet when it comes
to physical products and the
opportunity for meaningful
relationships with customers.
James Barnett, president of
gift company DaySpring,
explains how in our latest
Guest Editor issue.
Read more from page
A CHAR I MA I A Publication
offers retail lessons
Former teacher Dorothy healthy
Parables has been built on Three
BY ANDY BUTCHER
As a former teacher who in some ways views her 14,000-square-foot
Christian store simply as a bigger classroom, Dorothy Alford believes
that success depends on doing your homework.
Careful study of the facts and analysis of the options have helped her
come up with the right answers for Parables as it has faced changes in
the industry for almost 30 years. And at 85, she has no plans to slow
love what I says the owner of the store in Omaha, Neb.
love books. I love the message that books have, and I love to talk to the
customers and find something that will make a difference in their lives.
I have no intention of retiring until my health tells me that I
Revised opening hours, staffing cutbacks, tweaked buying policies
and inventory balance without having a negative effect on
customer among the changes that have been introduced
in recent times following evaluation. The results: Last business
was level with 2010 despite the down economy, with an uptick in the
Meanwhile, the store is also planning to expand its already strong
gift department and start selling e-books as digital publishing begins
to impact print sales.
Such moves have earned Alford and her team several CBA awards
for excellence and last year the Servant Leadership Award from The
Parable which she has been a member from its inception.
Her career has been by quiet excellence. She exemplifies
discipline, humility, intelligence and said Steve Adams,
A A a 10
Christmas season delivers positive results,
Stores, suppliers see modest gains, digital sales
BY ERIC TIANSAY
Mild weather, an emphasis on and the Borders bookstore chain closure were among the factors contributing to a positive
holiday season for Christian products industry.
Known as a servant leader, Parables owner Dorothy Alford walks the sales floor of her store six
times a day to see how she can help, a practice that helps her order products more effectively.
Total retail sales for November and December looked set to increase by 3.8%, according to the National Retail Federation. As expected, Black day after Thanksgiving and the official start
of the holiday shopping the biggest sales day of 2011, generating sales of $11.4 billion, up
6.6% from 2010, according to mall-traffic tracker ShopperTrak.
Black Friday week sales showed growth and a continuing for Christian stores,
CBA said. Sales spiked 32.8% compared to 2010 for the Monday-through-Saturday week that included Black Friday, accordCHRISTMAS, page 15
ing to the trade associaMORE INSIDE
data from more than 600
Ex-NFL star Eddie George, singer-wife Tamara, write a marriage guide, page 18
Bruce Marchiano portrays Christ once again, page 26
Unit sales also skyrocketed with the total sold
Ways to tap into Easter outreach event sales, page 28
for the top 10 best-selling
award winners identify key trends for 2012, page 32
products up 109.8% and
Inspirational contemporary romance is wooing the general market, page 36
the top 50 best-sellers
NEW SERIES: Solutions Center answers operational questions, page 38
up 110.7% from 2010,