LifeWay Christian Resources is charting a new course in 2019 marking a shift to a digital retail strategy. As part of the transition, LifeWay will close its 170 brick-and-mortar stores in 2019.
The Southern Baptist entity will continue to offer a broad selection of resources through LifeWay.com and the LifeWay Customer Service Center. LifeWay also will continue to serve customers through its network of church partners who work directly with churches.
Acting President and CEO Brad Waggoner said LifeWay is “fortunate to have a robust publishing, events and church services business. Our retail strategy for the future will be a greater focus on digital channels, which are experiencing strong growth. LifeWay is moving into a new era with a strategic digital focus that will prepare us for the future and allow us to better serve our customers.”
In January LifeWay announced it would reduce the number of its retail locations due to declining customer traffic and sales. “While we had hoped to keep some stores open, current market projections show this is no longer a viable option,” Waggoner said.
The timing of store closings will vary depending on local circumstances. LifeWay expects all South Carolina locations to close by the end of June.