Banking & Finance, Real Estate, and Retail

Retailer closing stores

February 23, 2017
| By Pat Evans |
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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

A Grand Rapids-based retailer with locations across the region and nation is shutting down after 85 years.

Family Christian said today it plans to liquidate, because of “changing consumer behavior and declining sales.”

The chain’s stores sell Christian-themed products.

Family Christian filed for bankruptcy in February 2015, but it emerged later the same year after re-organization, according to Business Journal reports at the time.

The company has more than 3,000 employees and 240 locations in 36 states.

A timeline for liquidation and closings was not disclosed.

“We had two very difficult years post-bankruptcy,” Family Christian President Chuck Bengochea said. “Despite improvements in product assortment and the store experience, sales continued to decline. In addition, we were not able to get the pricing and terms we needed from our vendors to successfully compete in the market.”

Family Christian has multiple locations in West Michigan, including Grand Rapids, Grandville, Muskegon, Holland, Walker, Kalamazoo and Battle Creek.

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