Family Christian Bookstore is our nation's largest Christian bookstore in existence. However, the major Christian supplier of literature, music, and videos has been undergoing some difficult financial times. After six months of wrangling in bankruptcy court, Grand Rapids-based Family Christian Stores will be sold debt-free to FCS Acquisitions for between $52.4 and $55.7 million, according to MLive. The nation's largest Christian retail chain will remain open after a bankruptcy judge approved the sale of the troubled company.
The move will cost creditors millions of dollars but will keep more than 200 bookstores open as venues for publishers and vendors to sell products in the future.
"We have a sovereign God who has a plan for Family Christian," said CEO Chuck Bengochea, adding that the chain will probably close a dozen stores in the next few months. "We have been through dark days and now we can celebrate."
The sale will preserve Family Christian's business for now.
"For the short term they will be healthy. And if they can adapt to the retail challenges ahead they may be successful," Christian literary agent Steve Laube told CT in an email. "Unfortunately, their financial 'health' came at the expense of a number of publishers, suppliers, and authors."
Despite 266 stores in 36 states bringing in $230 million in gross revenues in 2014, Family Christian owed more than $90 million. Sales of $305 million in 2008 had steadily shrunk to a projected $216 million this year.
Three years ago, Family Christian bought itself back from private equity owners, and in 2013 promised to donate all profits to serving widows and orphans around the world.