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Who Buys Source

According to the CBA (Christian Booksellers Association), while Christian stores are very diverse in their mission and customer base, the primary market served by Christian retail stores is the evangelical market. About one-half of Christian retail stores also seek to serve the needs of Catholic customers and Spanish-language customers, while about one-quarter try to serve the urban market, and about one-third seek to serve the home-school market.

CBA: The Association for Christian Retail, 2011

More than 1.4 million Americans attend at least one of 25 Christian music festivals annually. 

EPM Guide to the Christian Marketplace, 2011

Based on a study by publisher R.R. Bowker, Christian book buyers are 70% Protestant, 16% Catholic, 6% Mormon, and 8% other religious affiliations.

CBA: The Association for Christian Retail, 2011

Profiling adults 18+ who bought any type of religious books (not including Bibles), along with Contemporary Christian CDs or tapes in the past year:

GfK MRI, 2010

Of those adults who bought any type of Contemporary Christian CDs or tapes in the past year, 62.7% were women and 37.3% were men.

GfK MRI, 2010

Of those adults 18+ who purchased any religious books (not including Bibles) in the past year, 63.7% were women and 36.3% were men.

GfK MRI, 2010

Adults 18+ who bought any Contemporary Christian CDs or tapes in the past year, by age group: 18-24, 8.5%; 25-34, 19.3%; 35-44, 25.2%; 45-54, 25.4%; 55-64, 14.2%; 65+, 7.4%.

GfK MRI, 2010

Adults 18+ who purchased any religious books (not including a Bible) in the past year, by age bracket: 18-24, 8.1%; 25-34, 14.9%; 35-44, 18.4%; 45-54, 23.2%; 55-64, 18.3%; 65+, 17.1%.

GfK MRI, 2010

Adults 18+ who bought any Contemporary Christian CDs or tapes in the past year, by income level: $100,000+, 29.9%; $75-99,999, 16.5%; $60-74,999, 15.7%; $50-59,999, 8.9%; $40-49,999, 8.2%; $30-39,999, 9.0%; $20-29,999, 6.1%; under $20,000, 5.6%.

GfK MRI, 2010

Adults 18+ who bought any religious books (not including a Bible) in the past year, by income level: $100,000+, 25.6%; $75-99,999, 14.8%; $60-74,999, 12.7%; $50-59,999, 8.6%; $40-49,999, 8.5%; $30-39,999, 9.9%; $20-29,999, 8.8%; under $20,000, 11.1%.

GfK MRI, 2010

Adults 18+ who bought any religious books (not including a Bible) in the past year, by region: Northeast, 13.4%; Midwest, 22.1%; South, 42.6%; West, 21.9%.

GfK MRI, 2010

Adults 18+ who bought any Contemporary Christian CDs or tapes in the past year, by race: White, 83.5%; Black, 7.5%; Other, 9.0%; Hispanic origin, 10.0%.

GfK MRI, 2010

Adults 18+ who bought any religious books (not including a Bible) in the past year, by race: White, 74.8%; Black, 13.0%; Other, 12.2%; Hispanic origin, 13.5%.

GfK MRI, 2010

Adults 18+ who bought any Contemporary Christian CDs or tapes in the past year, by marital status: Single, 17.1%; married, 69.8%; separated/widowed/divorced, 13.1%.

GfK MRI, 2010

Adults 18+ who purchased any religious books (not including a Bible) in the past year, by marital status: Single, 17.6%; married, 64.3%; separated/widowed/divorced, 18.1%.

GfK MRI, 2010


Why They Buy Source

A 2011 survey by The Barna Group asked adult consumers if they were going to buy a product or service in the coming year, would they be more or less likely to purchase a particular brand if they knew it was from a company that manages its business according to Christian principles: A lot more likely, 27%; a little more likely, 15%; no difference, 51%; a little less likely, 2%; a lot less likely, 1%. Among those respondents most likely to do so were those in the South and Midwest.

The Barna Group, 2011

Based on a 2010 survey conducted by Christian Retailing magazine, the most common customer amenties offered by for-profit Christian stores: Frequent buyer incentives, 69%; comfortable seating, 68%; layaway service, 52%; personal shopper service, 49%; kids' play area, 48%; free gift wrapping, 40%; free Bible engraving, 30%; free coffee, 19%; free WiFi, 10%.

Christian Retailing, 2010

How They Buy Source

According to a survey of Christian consumers, conducted by publisher R.R. Bowker, when Christians shop in Christian retail stores, their book purchases are 47% higher then when they shop in big-box or online stores, and 103% higher than when they shop mass merchandisers.

CBA: The Association for Christian Retail, 2011

A 2010 survey by America's Research Group showed 6.1% of U.S. consumers visiting a Christian bookstore in the previous month, with per capita spending of $4.58.

Christian Retailing, 2010

What They Buy Source

Based on research by the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association, the top 10 best-selling Christian authors in 2010: 1. Max Lucado; 2. Sarah Young; 3. Karen Kingsbury; 4. Beth Moore; 5. Francis Chan; 6. Stormie Omartian; 7. Joyce Meyer; 8. Francine Rivers; 9. Gary Chapman; 10. Stephen & Alex Kendrick.

Evangelical Christian Publishers Association, 2011

Best-selling Christian videos as of July 2011: 1. Princess and the Popstar; 2. Sheerluck Holmes and the Golden Ruler; 3. Fireproof; 4. Soul Surfer; 5. Book of Ruth; 6. Facing the Giants; 7. Gifted Hands; 8. Battlefield of the Mind; 9. The Secrets of Jonathan Sperry; 10. The Blind Side.

CBA: The Association for Christian Retail, 2011

The 10 best-selling books sold through Christian retailers as of July 2011: 1. Heaven Is for Real (Todd Burpo & Lynn Vincent); 2. Jesus Calling (Sarah Young); 3. Radical (David Platt); 4. Learning (Karen Kingsbury); 5. Through My Eyes (Tim Tebow); 6. Crazy Love (Francis Chan & Danae Yankoski); 7. Radical Together (David Platt); 8. God's Promises for Fathers (Jack Countryman); 9. Made to Crave (Lysa TerKeurst); 10. 40 Days with Jesus (Sarah Young).

CBA: The Association for Christian Retail, 2011

Top-selling music albums as of July 2011 that were sold through Christian retail stores: 1. Blessings (Laura Story); 2. Hundred More Years (Francesca Battistelli); 3. 2011 VBS PandaMania Party Time Sing and Play Music; 4. The Light Meets the Dark (Tenth Avenue North); 5. WOW #1s (WOW and Various Artists); 6. Hello Fear (Kirk Franklin); 7. Until the Whole World Hears (Casting Crowns); 8. Fearless (Phillips Craig & Dean); 9. Light Up the Sky (The Afters); 10. What If We (Brandon Heath).

CBA: The Association for Christian Retail, 2011

The top 5 audiobooks sold through Christian retailers as July 2011: 1. Don't Waste Your Life (John Piper); 2. Radical (David Platt); 3. Heaven is for Real (Todd Burpo); 4. Cause and Effect (Adventures in Odyssey); 5. For God and Country (Focus on the Family). 

CBA: The Association for Christian Retail, 2011

Exclusive merchandise (products available only at a particular store or group of stores) rated most effective by Christian retail stores: Adult books, 42.7%; gifts, 37.0%; music, 30.3%; Bibles, 29.2%; DVDs, 28.1%; children's books, 10.1%; apparel, 7.9%; toys, 3.4%; other, 5.6%.

Christian Retailing, 2010

Where They Buy Source

Family Christian Stores is the largest retail chain specializing in Christian merchandise. The company operates over 300 locations in 35 states, offering a variety of Christian-themed merchandise, including Bibles and other books, music, software, gifts, cards, videos, apparel and church supplies. Family Christian has grown through new store openings and acquisitions in recent years.

Hoover's, 2011

LifeWay Christian Stores sell books, CDs, church furniture, signs and supplies through more than 160 locations in 25 states. LifeWay Christian Stores are affiliated with LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention, a non-profit Christian publisher.

Hoover's, 2011

There are approximately 1,700 Christian retail stores, including independents, regional and national chains, church-owned stores, franchises and marketing groups, plus more than 500 book publishers, record companies, gift companies and other product suppliers. Christian stores provide Bibles, Christian books, curriculum, apparel, music, videos, gifts, greeting cards, children's resources, and other materials to support churches and help individuals grow their faith. 

CBA: The Association for Christian Retail, 2011

According to a survey by publisher R.R. Bowker, 47% of Christian books are purchased through retail stores, 41% via direct-to-consumer channels, and 12% through other outlets.

CBA: The Association for Christian Retail, 2011

Business Trends Source

Based on a survey of Christian stores conducted by Christian Retailing magazine, average sales of the respondents dropped just over 3% in 2010. For 2011, 82% of the retailers expected sales to be the same or better in 2011.

Christian Retailing, 2011

According to the CBA (Christian Booksellers Association), sales of Christian products and merchandise through all channels, including books, music, gifts, etc., amount to more than $4.6 billion each year.

CBA: The Association for Christian Retail, 2011

Sales of Religious books, which include many self-help texts, were off 0.5% in 2010 to $585.4 million.

Association of American Publishers, 2011

Overall sales of Christian music were down 9.2% in 2010, although Christian music sales through Christian retailers were only off 4.4%. Sales of Christian music through mainstream outlets dropped 22.4% in 2010.

Christian Music Trade Association, 2011