The Christian Booksellers Association (CBA)  reported that sales for 2012 rose 8.55% over 2011, with a few high-performing stores boosting the average while many independents reported declines or flat performance. The CBA’s 2013 State of the Industry Report was based on aggregated reults from more than 600 of about 1,100 member stores collected.

About 33% of the stores posted sales increases of 7-15%  for 2012 over 2011, while 60 % reported declines for 2012, and 7% reported no change. 

CBA president Curtis Riskey said, “ The stores that reported sales increases are strong and connecting better with customers both through technology and compelling in-store experiences. They are adapting to selling e-books and deploying more digital marketing and customer interaction.”

He also  said discounting and other creative strategies for defining retail space cotributed to the higher-performing stoes.

In 2012, CBA member stores experienced an overall increase of 2.05% in Bible sales. 

The CBA lost 39 stores in 2012, more than the 22 stores that closed in 2011 but far less than the 63 store closings in 2010. About half the retailers polled said they plan to sell or close their stores in 2013. Just over 80% said they expect 2013 sales to be flag.

Riskey will offer sales projectsions for 2013 at a June 24 press conference at the upcoming International Christian Retail Show, meeting June 23-26 in St. Louis, Mo.