Banking & Finance, Law, and Retail

Christian retailer files bankruptcy

February 16, 2015
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'Like-minded' group acquires Family Christian Stores from private equity firm
Grand Rapids-based Family Christian operates a national chain of stores. Photo via fb.com

A locally based retailer of Christian merchandise is restructuring its national chain under bankruptcy.

Family Christian Stores in Grand Rapids said last week that it has filed for “a sale of its assets and operations under Section 363 of Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.”

The retailer “does not expect to close any stores or lay off any employees.”

Family Christian Stores operates 266 stores in 36 states.

“We strive to serve God in all that we do and trust his guidance in all our decisions, especially this very important one,” said Chuck Bengochea, CEO and president, Family Christian Stores.

“We have carefully and prayerfully considered every option. This action allows us to stay in business and continue to serve our customers, our associates, our vendors and charities around the world.”

Restructuring

Family Christian Stores was purchased in 2012 by three businessmen and donated to Family Christian Ministries, a not-for-profit.

The chain operates in support of Family Christian Ministries’ mission partners and has a “long history of giving to ministries serving widows and orphans.”

The retailer said that a new subsidiary of Family Christian Ministries will serve as the lead bidder on the bankruptcy sale.

The subsidiary will acquire the assets of the “streamlined” organization and maintain operation of the chain’s stores, as well as its ecommerce site.

The retailer expects to complete the sale process in about 60 days.

“Our customers will not see any change in operations during this process,” Bengochea said. “After the court approves the sale, we can begin to reinvest in our stores and bring our customers products and services that will help us better fulfill our mission — to glorify God by helping people find, grow, share and celebrate their faith in Christ.”

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