Nashville—LifeWay Christian Stores are closing at three Southern Baptist seminary campuses, the retail chain confirmed to Baptist Press Feb. 10.
The LifeWay Christian Stores chain also confirmed the closure of its longtime downtown Nashville location due to the sale of SBC entity’s 14.5-acre campus last November and the relocation of its offices to a new facility late next year also in the downtown area.
A change in buying patterns among seminary students was cited as the reason for the closures at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas; Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, N.C.; and Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Mo.
Cossy Pachares, vice president of the retail division of the SBC’s LifeWay Christian Resources publishing arm, said in a statement to Baptist Press: “LifeWay created our campus stores to help seminary students acquire the resources necessary for their academic studies. Over the last five years or so, students have been migrating more to digital, rental and online options for many of their textbook and scholarly resource needs. This is not a bad thing. We know these new options are helpful to students, since they can be more cost effective and powerful.”
LifeWay Christian Stores at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville and New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary “have not been as significantly affected,” he said, “because they draw customers from outside their student population. LifeWay will continue to operate these stores at this time.”
LifeWay’s store at Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary in the San Francisco Bay Area closed last year as the seminary prepares to move to a new campus in Southern California later this year.
LifeWay currently operates nearly 180 Christian retail stores in 29 states. (BP)