Sunday, October 21, 2012
Christian Bookstore Replaces Borders In Algonquin
Family Christian Stores out of Grand Rapids, MI, claims to be the world's largest Christian-focused retailer with, by now, almost 300 stores offering Christian-themed merchandise, especially books, Bibles, gifts and music. Except for the Christian part it sounds a lot like the now-defunct Borders chain in whose former Algonquin spot Family Christian is located. Lenartowski said that's a coincidence, though. "It's just a good location," she said.
The Family Christian chain was a spinoff from the venerable Zondervan religious publishing and music house. Chicago's answer to Bain Capital, Madison Dearborn Partners, is the majority owner these days, though. That puts the company among an eclectic herd of firms that includes the Schraeder tire valve company and Topps bubble gum.
Not surprisingly, e-books have invaded Christian publishing just like as the secular variety so Family Christian has electronic books besides the printed ones. "We have our own e-reader, the edifi," said Lenartowski. "It's like a Kindle," she said, although Family Christian's website reports the ebooks it sells won't run on Kindles. They will open on some other ereaders, though, if they're set up the right way it says.
In the pic: The Family Christian store in Alongquin is the 16 in a Collar County cresecent around Chicago. It sells Christian books, cards, music, tsotchkes, wearing apparel and...Bibles.