A Few Statistics about Christian Retail
While I’ve had some long days at the International Christian Retail Show in Denver, it’s been a great experience for me. After years of attending these sessions, it’s like a huge family reunion in many ways. There are new friends to meet but many old friends to see and get a bit of news about their lives. I’ve got another long day tomorrow ahead so this entry will be brief.
Tonight I learned about some preliminary number information from the initial days of the show. I hope this statistical information will be useful to others. Currently there are about 2200 members of the Christian Booksellers Association. This number is about the same as it was last year and in fact, over the last ten years (since 1995) the number of members has maintained about the same. So you have some way of understanding these numbers. The American Booksellers Association in 1995 had about 4400 members. Today they have about 1,700 members. The drop in membership for the ABA reflects the struggles for independent bookstores to stay competitive in light of the “big box stores” or the Borders and Barnes and Noble stores.
This year at the ICRS there are 1, 126 buying stores. Now under this system of counting some large entities such as Wal-Mart or Family Christian Bookstore would only count as one store. Over 50% of these retailers are east of the Mississippi River and typically drive to the convention each summer.