All 170 LifeWay Christian Resources stores are set to close this year.
The organization cited fewer customers and lower sales as a reason for shuttering the stores, though it will maintain online sales and services.
LifeWay Christian Resources, based in Nashville and owner of the stores, said it plans to focus on its digital strategy instead of brick-and-mortar stores, as it interacts with five times more people online in a month than in stores, according to a release from the non-profit, a provider of Christian resources and research, as well as a publisher of books and Bibles.
Exactly when each store will close depends on the location, LifeWay said, though closing sales will last a few months at each store.
“The decision to close our local stores is a difficult one,” said acting President and CEO Brad Waggoner in a statement. “Our world and our customers are increasingly online. Investing in a dynamic digital strategy allows LifeWay to better serve the Church in its mission and only enhances our ability to provide biblical solutions for life.”
In January, LifeWay said it would close some stores because of a decline in customers and sales, but decided it wasn’t possible to keep any open due to market projections.
The organization, founded in 1891, sells Bibles, books, children’s products, Christian music, movies, gifts, church supplies and more in its stores. It will still have products for sale on LifeWay.com, directly through church partners and through its customer service center.
It also offers digital resources online for Bible study, worship planning, training and more.
The announcement comes about two years after Family Christian Stores, a competitor of LifeWay based in Michigan, announced it was closing all of its 240 stores due to declining sales.