LifeWay Christian Store, the retail arm of the Southern Baptist Convention’s publishing company, plans to close all 172 of its outlets by the end of 2019. LifeWayChristian Stores plans to close all of its locations by end of the year and move all of the company’s retailing online.
“The decision to close our local stores is a difficult one,” said acting president and CEO Brad Waggoner, who is succeeding longtime LifeWay president Thom Rainer.
“LifeWay has developed close connections with the communities where our stores are located, and we have been honored to serve those communities. We will continue serving local congregations as they meet the spiritual needs of their neighbors.”
The Southern Baptist affiliate announced in January initial plans to reduce its locations this year due to declining sales and financial pressures, but ended up deciding it wasn’t viable to keep any stores open past 2019. Rainer saidthey did all they could to save the stores, which span across 30 states.