LifeWay is a Christian bookstore that sells Bibles, Christian books and literature, religious materials and services, and Faith-based items. LifeWay is a staple to many of the Christian churches or Christian believers, so this news is a shock. Many Baptist churches and other denominations rely heavily on these stores for materials for Vacation Bible School, mission trips, Sunday school, devotions, and more.
The company announced in January that it would begin to make a shift in its current sales plan and would close some locations. However, no one expected that all stores would close and all jobs would be lost.
The organization announced on Wednesday that all 170 stores would be closed due to a drop in sales and a slump in traffic entering stores throughout the past years. CEO Brad Waggoner commented that market projections show that keeping stores open is no longer a viable option.
Instead of completely going off the market, the bookstore has decided to still operate, but to offer only online retail and sales. This shift was made in hopes to meet the demands of society today that is increasingly shopping online. LifeWay will remain selling their consistent Bibles, materials, and faith-oriented merchandise along with all of the other things found in a LifeWay retail store, but the products will now be only available online.
"Our world and our customers are increasingly online," Waggoner said, "Investing in a dynamic digital strategy allows LifeWay to better serve the church in its mission and only enhances our ability to provide Biblical solutions for life."
LifeWay has operated since 1891 serving churches and providing customers with materials and items to assist in spreading the Gospel and the love of Christ.
"LifeWay has been serving the church for 128 years, and we will continue to grow our ministry to churches and individuals into the future," Waggoner said.