, (PressExposure) July 03, 2008 -- The rapidly increasing number of bookstores operated by churches has led to the larger stores forming their own trade association.
The fourth annual Gathering of Church Bookstores was held in March 2008 at Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas. The event was co-hosted by The Church Bookstore magazine and the Church Bookstore Network. More than 230 managers and volunteers, representing 125 churches, attended the March 26-28 Gathering.
Church bookstores are "the fastest growing portion of this industry," according to Geni Hulsey, president of the Church Bookstore Network and manager of the Garden Bookstore at Houston First Baptist Church, in a recent article published by Christianity Today magazine.
Hulsey began her church's store almost 14 years ago with four six-foot tables of books and products in the church's 76-seat cafÃ©. Last year, the store, did $500,000 in business from its new 2,000-square-foot dedicated space inside the megachurch. About 60 percent of the revenue came from book and Bible sales. A survey conducted at the Gathering found that more than half the participants had expanded their operations in the prior two years, while 48 percent reported increased sales in 2007.
Dave Condiff, associate publisher at The Church Bookstore magazine, estimates there are about 5,000 church bookstores in the U.S. A "church bookstore" can encompass anything from a 10,000-square-foot bookstore with $3 million in sales to a narthex book table,â he told Christianity Today.
To familiarize booming church bookstores with how to acquire low-cost inventory, the Great American Bargain Book Show (GABBS) is making a one-time offer for church store staffers to attend the show free. The offer extends to church bookstore employees of all types â those who order books to stock the shelves, and those who sell the books as a way to spread the word among congregants and to help fund church activities.
âChurch bookstores can acquire stock from well known publishers of Christian titles such as Thomas Nelson at bargain basement prices,â according to GABBS organizer Larry May of Knoxville, Tenn. At least half of the vendors scheduled to attend GABBS at the Cobb Galleria Centre in Atlanta on Aug. 1-2 will be offering popular Christian titles for as little as 10 cents on the dollar, according to May, who said about 40,000 TO 50,000 book titles will be available.
To take advantage of the free registration offer, church bookstore employees need to visit the GABBS Web site to register, May said. âThis is a great opportunity for church bookstores to stock up for the coming winter holiday season.â
According to May, less than 10 percent of the books manufactured in the United States get sold at full suggested retail price. The rest are discounted. Remainders â the books that donât sell out at retail or discounted prices, books that are usually in pristine condition â constitute 31 percent of the $36 billion U.S. book business.
The Great American Bargain Book Show caters to buyers who purchase 25 or more copies of individual titles from dealers who specialize in remainders.
About GABBS: The Great American Bargain Book Show is one of the three largest bargain book shows in the United States, staged annually in time for retailers to buy inexpensive stock for marketing during the winter holiday season. The show is organized by L.B. May & Associates of Knoxville, Tenn. Further information at http://www.GABBS.net Press Release Distribution By PressReleasePoint(http://www.pressreleasepoint.com)