Citing "a new era with a strategic digital focus," LifeWay Christian Resources has decided it's time to close all of its brick-and-mortar stores across the U.S.
By the end of the year, LifeWay says it will have closed its 170 stores – and the timing will vary depending on local circumstances. Describing the decision to close as "a difficult one," acting president and CEO Brad Waggoner says January's announcement to reduce the number of its retail locations – due to declining customer traffic and sales – "is no longer an option."
"Our retail strategy for the future will be a greater focus on digital channels, which are experiencing strong growth," says Waggoner.
According to LifeWay, in one month it interacts with five times as many people through its digital environments as it does in the brick-and-mortar stores.
"Our world and our customers are increasingly online," the LifeWay spokesman concludes. "Investing in a dynamic digital strategy allows [us] to better serve the Church in its mission and only enhances our ability to provide biblical solutions for life."
There is no mention of the number of employees that will be affected by the closures.