Christian Retailing magazine is once again more than just print. After a hiatus of several months, a digital edition is being sent to more than 43,000, in addition to the 6,500 who receive the magazine in print. The digital distribution includes 8,500 retailers, suppliers and industry professionals—including many overseas—who previously signed up to receive the magazine in digital format.
Featuring all the content of the regular print edition, the digital version can also offer enhanced editorial and advertising content. It includes search and browse functions and can be downloaded for later reading and shared with others by email.
Launched in 2007, the digital edition was introduced in an effort to cut costs and be environmentally conscious. It was put on temporary hold late last year while owner Charisma Media assessed how best to continue serving the changing Christian products industry.
Christian Retailing’s print circulation was trimmed to 6,100 as a result of the digital version, a cost-effective way of making the magazine available to all of a store’s staff individually. But the print circulation has grown by more than 400 in the last year, with new subscribers including stores newly opened or under new ownership or management and industry professionals.
“It looks like we have hit a watermark. We had a period where some stores just could not hold on, but it seems to have stabilized,” says David Manning, circulation and marketing director. “We are witnessing more stores subscribing and opening new magazine accounts. It’s very positive.”
That confidence is shared by Charisma Media founder Steve Strang, who says he is excited about life in the market shown by new people coming into it. “With all the change that has happened, we failed to recognize that new stores are opening and new people are excited about opportunities.
“One of the things Christian Retailing does is we are out hustling, looking for these people and finding them,” Strang explains. “We are also looking for new names and new ways to connect Christian Retailing to different segments of the market in ways that make sense for the advertisers and ways that make sense financially for the magazine.”
It is very inexpensive to send out emails, but the challenge, Strang said, is to get people to open them. “We get around that by asking people to opt in,” he states. “Christian Retailing has around 43,000 opt-ins from its four lists and a strategic decision has been made to send the digital edition four times, to each of these lists.”
Cliff Morales, advertising manager for Christian Retailing magazine, explains: “For all the advertisers of Christian Retailing magazine who make it possible for every Christian bookstore and church bookstore to receive the magazine in print for free, we are adding many more eyes by sending it out digitally.
“The digital issue is an exact duplication of the print version. All the articles and ads appear as they do in print. However, with the April digital issue, we are adding video and other ‘rich media’ to ads for advertisers who pay a small ‘up charge.’ This will make the magazine more interactive and interesting to the reader and generate more response for the advertiser,” Morales says, adding that advertisers can get more information by calling 407-333-7137 or emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Christian Retailing has served the Christian products industry with news and industry trends and new products, business information and commentary since 1955. Founded by Robert Walker as Christian Bookseller, the magazine was renamed when it was acquired by Strang in 1986.
In addition to the print and digital editions, Christian Retailing publishes regular e-news updates, hosts a robust website featuring additional content and sponsors the annual Retailers Choice Awards.
Christian Retailing is part of multimedia company Charisma Media, which also publishes Charisma and Ministry Today magazines. The company is also home to book division Charisma House.
Click here to find out more about Christian Retailing’s digital edition.
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