The Family Christian line of bookstores is in deep trouble and they are trying to sell the company. Despite operating 266 stores in 36 states bringing in $230 million in gross revenues in 2014, Family Christian owes more than $90 million to vendors and creditors. Sales of $305 million in 2008 had steadily shrunk to a projected $216 million this year.
Three years ago, Family Christian bought itself back from private equity owners, and in 2013 promised to donate all profits to serving widows and orphans around the world. This is fairly noble, but the company is the midst of trying to sell itself back to FCS Acquisition, a subsidiary of the chain’s parent company. Family Christian’s creditors, many of them Christian publishers and vendors, will have until August 7 to approve or deny the sale, which has promised to keep the stores open.
It is anticipated that the creditors and vendors will approve of the sale, even though they would lose millions, since keeping the stores open means a continued outlet for their products.
The Christian’s main objective should be paying his creditors and handling his employees as compassionately as possible, said David Laube, executive-in-residence at the University of Colorado-Denver Business School.
Apologizing to creditors would also be the right thing to do, said David Skeel, University of Pennsylvania law professor and historian of bankruptcy law. And while giving away money is a good thing, Christian companies—or individuals—overwhelmed by debt shouldn’t be writing checks to charity, he said
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.