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LifeWay to Close All 170 Christian Stores

The nation’s biggest Christian retail chain ends its brick-and-mortar operations.
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LifeWay to Close All 170 Christian Stores
Image: LifeWay Christian Resources

LifeWay Christian Resources, the largest Christian retail chain in America, plans to close all 170 stores this year and shift its offerings entirely 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 said they did all they could to save the stores, which span across 30 states.

“Our retail strategy for the future will be a greater focus on digital channels, which are experiencing ...

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