Family Christian Stores announced it will close its doors after 85 years in business. The company has more 3,000 employees and operates 240 stores in 36 states. In 2012, Family Christian Stores changed from a for-profit retailer to a non-profit ministry. The stores sell Christian-themed products, including books, music, clothing and gifts.
The company filed for bankruptcy protection in 2015, as it struggled to compete with online retailers. At that time, the chain had $127 million in debt, which was forgiven as part of bankruptcy proceedings.
“Despite improvements in product assortment and the store experience, sales continued to decline,” Chuck Bengochea, the company’s president, told USA Today. “In addition, we were not able to get the pricing and terms we needed from our vendors to successfully compete in the market.”
At the time of the bankruptcy, Family Christian Stores’ sales had dropped 29 percent from 2008 to about $216 million. Bengochea told USA Today that management had no choice but to close at this point.
“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,” he said.
Family Christian Stores has not yet released a timetable for the shuttering of its hundreds of locations. But, the company’s website indicates that it is currently having a closing sale. All remaining merchandise on FamilyChristian.com is 30 percent off. Given the chain’s impending closing, all sales are final.
Fans of the stores may want to take advantage of some of these markdowns while they last. Here are a few of the deals available on the site:
You can get this colorful Easter tabletop decoration for $15.99, marked down from $19.99.
Tots will have fun with this Fisher-Price Little People Noah’s Ark Playset, which was originally priced at $34.99 and is now selling for $27.99.
The site also has a large selection of jewelry from 3Strands, an organization that helps provide employment for victims of human trafficking around the world. Get a cool bracelet and do good at the same time.