By Kate Shellnutt

Send the Light Distribution was finally felled by Amazon Prime and Family Christian bankruptcy.

The largest distributor of Christian products in the United States has announced plans to “wind down operations” due to competition from online retailers and the financial hit from the bankruptcy of Family Christian Stores, a major client.

Send the Light Distribution (STL)—which shipped to more than 10,000 Christian retailers, mostly US bookstores—will wind down its 42-year-old “service to the global Christian supply chain” this summer.

The Tennessee-based company used to ship more than 25,000 Bibles a day. But these days, it’s a lot easier—and often, cheaper—to get a Bible on Amazon.

“When companies get creative and find new and better ways to do things, like Amazon Prime … at the end of the day, that kind of thing also destroys the current or past way that business had been done,” Send the Light president Glenn Bailey told CT. “That’s our basic problem.”

While Amazon was one of Send the Light’s biggest customers, the majority of its business was conducted with independent Christian retailers.

“They’re being put out of business left and right,” he said. “Many of our best customers are no longer what they once were.”

Christian bookstores have been shutting down by the dozens in recent years, amid mixed sales trends; sales of Christian fiction have dropped, but nonfiction and Bibles remain strong.

The company’s decision comes a year after Family Christian Stores (FCS), the country’s largest Christian bookstore chain, filed for bankruptcy and erased the $127 million owed to creditors like Send the Light.

Losing about half a million on the FCS bankruptcy was a “contributing” factor that …

Source:: CHRISTIAN GLEANING