Family Christian, the biggest U.S. Christian bookstore chain, said on Thursday it was going out of business and planned to close its 240 stores across 36 states. The chain filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in February 2015, with more than $120 million in debt in the face of a sales slump amid growing competition from online stores. Brick-and-mortar rivals also took business away by stocking best-selling Christian-market titles and Bibles.
Total Retail's Take: Family Christian joins Wet Seal, The Limited and JackThreads as 2017 retail casualties. The bookstore chain had hoped the bankruptcy filing and subsequent sale would enable it to remain in operation, but not enough progress was made and liquidation became the only feasible option. Family Christian faced challenges from online retailers, most notably Amazon.com, as well as other larger bookstore chains, including Barnes & Noble and Books-A-Million.