Christian retailing ups and downs


10 Jan 2013

United Methodist Publishing, based in Nashville, is closing all 57 of its Cokesbury bookstores to focus on online sales. All the bookstores, including 19 in Methodist seminaries. are scheduled to close by April.

Meanwhile, the nation’s largest chain of Christian retail stores has bought itself back from a private equity firm. the new owners of Family Christian Stores are the management team and three Atlanta-based investors, Publishers Weekly reports. Management has pledged to donate all profits to ministries serving women and orphans.

Hobby Lobby, the Christian-owned crafts store, lost its appeal to be exempt from the Affordable Care Act’s contraception mandate, arguing that it goes against the religious beliefs of the owners. A federal judge ruled that the retail chain must provide birth control because “secular, for-profit corporations do not have free exercise rights.”

But in another federal court, Christian book publisher Tyndale House was judged exempt because “the beliefs of a closely-held corporation should be deemed the alter-ego of its owners for religious purposes.”

FROM The Religion World

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