Cokesbury has been providing curriculum, altar robes and other merchandise to churches and Christians since 1789. And while the company will be closing down its New Brighton bookstore, the Golden Valley customer service location will remain open.
Amy Smith, spokesperson for the national retailer of Christian products said the Cokesbury bookstore closure is part of a plan by United Methodist Publishing House, the parent company of Cokesbury, to close all 57 stores across the country.
"More of our customers are shopping online and in our call center," Smith tells Patch.
Smith said the chain will begin focusing on online sales and services at Cokesbury.com and providing services through its call center. Cokesbury is also adding more than 40 sales representatives to the field and increasing its presence at events.
"Closing our local stores has been a difficult and disappointing decision. Cokesbury stores have been an important and cherished part of our ministry over many decades, but the simple fact is that fewer and fewer individuals rely on stores to shop for the products they need," the company stated in an email sent out to Cokesbury customers.
Cokesbury Sales Representative Jan Russell is based in Golden Valley and said that the company works closely with Spirit of Hope United Methodist Church. "We provide their Sunday school curriculum, their vacation bible school curriculum and some of their adult studies materials," Russell said. Those services will remain the same and are not impacted by the decision to close bookstores. "It's just the way publishing is moving," Russell said about the bookstore closure.
Customers can visit CokesburyNext.com for more details on the closures and future Cokesbury plans.
They can also visit Cokesbury.com to shop and place orders for products and services or call the Cokesbury Call Center at 1-800-672-1789.