Send The Light & Covenant Group Coordinate on Church Resource Marketing Program
Send The Light-Distribution & the Covenant Group Coordinate On Church Resource Marketing Program
Send The Light Distribution, a leading distributor of products serving Christian retail stores, and the Covenant Group, long noted for its creative marketing and promotional programs have launched a cooperative program to assist independent Christian retail stores as they seek to grow their church resource business, and serve their local churches more effectively.
Chuck Wallington, President of the Covenant Group stated, “This new program, entitled “Ignite”, will enable stores to ignite sales to churches by supplying them with an industry-leading annual church supplies catalog featuring more than 200 pages of resources especially geared to the needs of the local church. In addition, three supplemental seasonal flyers give the retailer a comprehensive and year-round program to stay in contact with the churches they serve. Best of all, stores can get all or part of the cost of these catalogs and the associated flyers completely offset with free product from Send The Light Distribution. Stores can literally have a turn-key program, at little or no final out-of-pocket cost!”
Mark Phillips, VP of Sales & Marketing for Send The Light-Distribution added, “This program will enable the retailers we serve to effectively communicate to the churches they serve that they have the products they need, and do so at virtually no cost to the retailer with the free goods offset. We are excited to work with Covenant Group to provide their excellent and proven marketing materials to our customers, especially coupled with this unique offer that reimburses the store for most or all of their costs.”
Ignite is an innovative program that allows retailers to receive a starter package of the 2015-2016 Church Supplies Catalog (published in late August, 2015), and an identical quantity of each of the three seasonal church resource flyers for a set fee. The fee is then completely offset with a free allotment of the Lumen Disposable Communion Cups that the retailer receives as reimbursement of the program cost. For more information, retailers can contact their Send The Light Distribution telephone sales representative at 800-289-2772. This special offer will remain in place through April 30, 2015.
For over 30 years, Covenant Group has provided an array of marketing and promotional services to independent Christian retailers of all sizes, including print and digital catalogs and flyers, in-store promotional aids, digital marketing services, and a burgeoning branded website network; all that allow retailers to both serve and inform the consumers and churches they serve with state-of-the-art tools and resources.
For more information contact Ed Barber Ed.Barber@stl-distribution.com
Send The Light: The largest one-stop distributor of Bibles, gifts, Church supplies, toys, books, Homeschool and more has been in business for over 40 years.
Send The Light Appoints New Markets Director
SEND THE LIGHT APPOINTS NEW MARKETS DIRECTOR
Michael Turner to help Send the Light Distribution expand children's toy offerings
Elizabethton, Tenn.: Send the Light Distribution has appointed Michael Turner as its first Director of New Market Development, to help Christian retail stores find and maximize new revenue streams.
Turner joins the leading Christian resources distributor after nine years with New Day Christian Distributors, where he was responsible for securing exclusive distribution rights for Duck Commander products, and introducing general market novelties like silly bands and companies like Melissa and Doug to the Christian retail channel.
His new Send the Light Distribution position is part of the company’s increased emphasis on gifts and particularly children's toys, to help Christian stores expand their inventory in line with their focus on faith and family values.
“We have always carried gifts, but we really made a more serious thrust in this area 18 months ago, since when we have seen 40 percent growth in the category,” said Mark Phillips, Vice President of Sales & Marketing. “We have created this new position specifically for Michael, who is well known and respected in the industry.”
Turner said that he was “delighted” to join Send the Light Distribution, and help find new toy brands and lines that can support both Christian stores' financial and ministry goals. “With moms, grandmothers, and aunts among the primary shoppers at Christian retail, these stores are more in line with the toy companies that anyone else,” he said.
General market toy suppliers were also open to developing Christian-themed products, if they saw the market potential through sales of other products. “Not everything has to have a cross on it,” said Turner. “As a family, we go to church, but we also buy regular books and toys, too.”
Turner will remain in Nashville, where he has been involved with Christian resources for more than 20 years. Prior to joining New Day, he worked in the music industry where his clients included Gary Chapman, and Bill and Gloria Gaither. Aged 47, Turner and his wife, Elizabeth, have two children.
Turner's first addition to Send the Light Distribution's exclusive inventory is Begin Again Toys. The Fort Collins, Colo.-based company produces puzzles, toys, and games intended to help children play and learn
Based in Elizabethton, Tenn., Send the Light Distribution is currently marking its 40th anniversary of service to bookstores, churches, ministries, and suppliers.
Send The Light Partners with World Vision
Send The Light Distribution has partnered with World Vision to create a program to equip you, the Christian independent retailer, to invite and engage customers with child sponsorship opportunities and earn significant revenue in the process. Here is how the program works in 3 easy steps:
1. After signing a simple retail agreement with World Vision, which is attached, and e-mailing/mailing it back to your phone rep, you the retailer agree to take posters, a pop-up display, prayer cards, buttons and 25 child sponsorship folders/envelopes free of charge to place in your store to promote child sponsorship.
2. Your customer may take a child sponsorship folder once they have decided to sponsor a child, fill this in and then return it to you. You would then send in the customer’s information form and the child’s folder in a postage paid envelope to the World Vision office.
3. Once World Vision confirms the sponsorship, STL will be notified and pays you $100 in the form of a store credit for every confirmed child sponsorship. Just one sponsorship a week would mean $5,200 a year in profit to your store, two a week average is over $10,000.
Mike Gillespie, former District Manager with Family Christian Stores says “I have seen countless times the power of child sponsorship with strengthening the relationships of customers in all the 18 stores I managed, resulting in rich conversations, more loyal customers and an overall high level of appreciation. So many times customers have commented on their genuine thankfulness of the retailer informing them about WV child sponsorship and what a blessing this has been in their own family.”
Please join Send The Light in helping improve children’s lives and impacting them with the life-changing message of the gospel by participating in this important initiative. For more information please contact your area phone rep at Send The Light. 800-289-2772
Send The Light Celebrates 40 Years
Leading Christian resources distributor Send The Light is launching a year of celebration to mark 40 years of service to bookstores, churches, ministries, and suppliers.
The business began as Appalachian Bible Company and founded in 1974 in Johnson City, TN, by Tom Torbett. Operations expanded to include three regional distribution centers, before the company was sold to Send The Light US (STL) in 2005.The 2007 merger between STL and the International Bible Society was followed by a management buyout led by president Glenn Bailey, completed in 2012.Part of the company’s current six man executive team is Robbie Edgar. Now Vice- President of Distribution and Logistics, he has been with the company since 1976, when he was the first full-time employee hired by Appalachian Bible Company.
Up to 1,000 orders are shipped from the facility, with same-day fulfillment guaranteed for orders received by 1:00 pm.
Warehouse inventory of more 70,000 items is supplemented by a print on demand service. With company shipments to the retail trade and those of former parent company Biblica, Send The Light estimates that daily Bible shipments from the facility are more than 25,000 units, making the building a worldwide hub for Bible distribution.
Though Send The Light has grown into one of the largest Christian distribution companies in the United States, it retains the personal touch and spirit that helped establish Appalachian in its early years, said Bailey. Send the Light continues that emphasis on service, while using technology and programs to increase efficiency too. “By consolidating operations, and now owning our facility, we are able to spend less money on operations, and put more resources into our most important job—meeting customers’ needs and exceeding their expectations,” said Bailey.
New initiatives unveiled in the last year include the Simply 42 program, streamlining a previously multi-tiered pricing structure into a standard, everyday 42 percent discount. Another new program is the Premier Partners service offering an expanded range of church supplies and resources. Lumen which is Send The Light’s proprietary product line, includes public domain books, Bibles, church supplies, and gifts.
Send The Light would like to thank all of their loyal customers for their continued support and making their 40 year Anniversary possible.
STL Exclusive Distributor for New Chan Book
Send The Light Distribution reached an agreement earlier this month with newly formed Claire Love Publishing to distribute a completely new marriage book by Francis and Lisa Chan. You and Me Forever: Marriage in Light of Eternity launches Aug. 26 and marks the first new title in several years from the Chans.
All net profits from the book will go toward providing food, shelter and rehabilitation for thousands of orphaned children and exploited women in partnership with global charities.
“We are thrilled to be joining forces with the Chans and their team to launch this new book,” said Darren Henry, president of Advocate Distribution Solutions, which is part of Send The Light. “Even more exciting is the chance to help raise sales and increase the contribution to worthy causes benefiting so many.”
You and Me Forever aims to cast a new light on marriage and explore Scripture to understand what it means to have a relationship that satisfies the deepest parts of our souls. In the same way that Crazy Love was geared to change how readers saw our personal relationship with God, You and Me Forever sets out to radically shift the way we see one of the most important relationships in our life.
“There are plenty of marriage books that teach you how to get along and be happy,” Francis Chan said. “This is not one of those. This book is about loving each other, forever.”
Send The Light will manage the book trade marketing of the product to help raise awareness of the new releases and to encourage retailers to support this release. The team at Claire Love Publishing, aided by their experience at Crazy Love Ministries, will focus on getting the word to readers through various grassroots avenues.
“The focus is to drive awareness, not through huge marketing budgets, but to share the distinctive message of the book and the worthy cause it supports with readers,” Henry said. “We know that readers drive the whole thing.”
The book will release simultaneously in trade paperback and hardcover.
Written by Christine D. Johnson of Christian Retailing
Add Comments and Browse by Language
Learn about two new features on our website.
BROWSE BY LANGUAGE
We have now added the ability to browse by over 50 languages. Just click Language under the Browse by: on the left hand side to start. You then can either click on one of the most popular at the top or go to whichever language you are looking for. After you click on the language it will pull up all the products we have under that specific language, you may then narrow your search by using the search filters located on the left side.
We now provide a forum for sharing information to help Christians make better choices. After you have logged in and go to a specific product, you will now see a blue bar “Add Comment” at the bottom of the page. This “Spotlight” review program allows you to share any special knowledge (pro or con) on any particular item to provide useful information for the reseller and their customer.
Improvements to website give a new look and ease of finding gift products
Send The Light Distribution has launched a new gifts section of the website www.stl-distribution.com that gives expanded information and search capabilities to retailers.
The new section, found by clicking on the banner “New & Expanded Gift Lines” on the right-hand side of the web landing page, will make it much easier for retailers to find new gift lines picked up by Send The Light.
Once you click on the new gift banner, the landing page opens to a page that has three larger banner/boxes at the top:
Welcome to our Gifts will showcase all gift products and you can then sort by “bestselling”, “retail price”, “title”, and more.
Clicking Bestselling Vendors will access a list of our top vendors and complete listings of their available product line.
Merchandising Tips and Suggestions (currently under construction) will soon be offering great ways to market your new gift product.
Three smaller tabs are located below the main boxes. First, the “Popular Categories” tab has separate click-on boxes for the following categories:
• Book & Bible
• Toys, Novelties, Games & Crafts
• Greeting Cards & Calendars
• Handbags & Personal Accessories
• Home Décor & Garden
• Food & Kitchen
• Auto Accessories
• Culture & Heritage
The other two tab choices are “Seasonal and Occasions” which gives an assortment of gift products for special times, and “Our Gift Vendors” which provides you with a complete listing of those vendors and what types of products each one carries.
“Our emphasis on providing the best selection of gift products to the Christian retailer continues as we are adding new gift lines monthly,” says Mark Phillips, Vice President of Sales and Marketing.
“We are really excited about these improvements to the website. We believe the stores will appreciate the new ease of finding gift products,” Phillips states.
“We have some great new Kurt Adler and Burton & Burton products that are coming for Christmas,” says Purchasing Director, Rita Allan.
“And we will also be receiving Precious Moments, Youngs Inc., and Gardenfire product in the coming weeks,” Allan continues.
“These quality gift products will be a welcome addition to our retailers, especially during the coming holiday season,” Phillips adds.
Send The Light employees receive recognition from Logos Bookstores
Two employees from Send The Light Distribution (STL) received commendations from the Association of Logos Bookstores recently. The awards, presented by Becky Gorczyca at ICRS, were for “Outstanding Sales Rep” and were based on nominations from Christian retailers.
Recipients of the awards were Karen Parlier and Virginia (Jenny) Bradley, both inside representatives in the Telesales Department.
Parlier was nominated by Buz Jewell of Logos Bookstore in Fredericksburg VA. Bradley was nominated by Marie Prickett of Logos Christian Bookstore in Alexandria KY.
“I am really proud of Karen and Jenny,” says Jill McInturff, Sales Promotion Manager. “They work hard to provide excellent service to their assigned stores.”
“Both of these women value helping provide stores with products that meet their needs,” continues McInturff. “We are proud of them for receiving these awards for the second year in a row.”
Parlier has been with Send The Light for 20 years, and Bradley for 5 years.
Celebrates One-Year Anniversary
It has been a year of both facing and overcoming challenges, and making many changes for the new management-owned Send The Light Distribution company. Most importantly, it has been a year of an immense outpouring of support from Send The Light’s customers and vendors.
In March 2012, STL Distribution North America was purchased by management from its parent company Biblica. The buy-out was over a year in the making, and the new owners and employees were excited about the completion of the sale. As president of the new company Glenn Bailey reported last year, plans were to “build on the strong foundation that’s been established and focus on operating and growing the business while serving the needs of our retail partners and the vendors who supply them.”
A year later, Bailey says, “We are pleased to have accomplished a lot in this first year. We are very thankful for our customers, and grateful to them for giving us their support as we set forth in a new direction.”
With an estimated 75% of new companies not making it past their first year, and few that do showing a profit, the most important factor is to be celebrating the beginning of a second year.
“We looked at every single aspect of the operation, how to improve, how to serve our retailers better. The changes internally have affected every single department of the company.”
“The sale opened up new avenues of looking at the way we do business, and gave us more flexibility and options than we have ever had before.”
Bailey continues, “Because of the decision making being on-site instead of half-way across the country, and with the extensive wholesale distribution experience of our leaders, we have been able to make a multitude of changes in a short time.”
“Some of those changes are readily apparent to our customers, the Christian retailers, and some are internal and just help us to operate our business more efficiently,” says Bailey. “But collectively, they all benefit our end customer, the Christian retailer.”
Some of those changes and improvements include:
• Recent implementation of a new discount program, Simply 42, which as its name implies, simplifies the former $5K Advantage tiered discount program that was available to all but international and Canadian retailers
• Redesign of both the appearance and functionality of the website, www.stl-distribution.com, which provides over a million dollars a month in sales
• Made improvements to internal financial analysis and reporting; shipping systems, and employee training
• Launching of the Church Supply Source program and plans underway to implement Premier Partners in 2013
• Launching of new Loyalty Program for retailers, with the recent launch of Loyalty Platinum
• Improvements to data and image acquisition including addition of thousands of product images, making selection of products easier for retailers
• Addition of multiple lines of gift products including (but not limited to) Lawson Falle, Carpentree, Beechdale Frames, Cathedral Art, Nicole Brayden, Cottage Garden, Christian Art Gifts, CTA, Abbey Press, Carson Home Accents, Glory Haus and Blossom Bucket
• Adding clerical shirts and collars product lines from Friar Tuck and Ecclesia
• Addition of Messianic Gifts Line through Holy Land Gifts
• Special exclusive partnership with Blue Ridge Church Furniture line
• Expansion of proprietary product line, Lumen, featuring Christian jewelry, plush toys, branded Bibles, wristband, e-reader covers, and Bible organizers
• Launch of Lumen Classics line of books
“We are grateful to all of our customers who trusted us as their distribution choice even as the changes in ownership were occurring. We believe we have come a long way in improving our service and response to our retailers, and have many more plans for the coming year,” adds Bailey.
“And as a special thank you to our customers,” says VP of Sales & Marketing Mark Phillips, “we are offering a ‘Free Freight Friday’ for all orders placed on March 15, our anniversary date.”
“It’s just one way to thank our customers for their continued loyalty,” Phillips explains.
“The absolute best news for any first-year company,” says Bailey, “is that we finished out our first (partial) fiscal year that ended in December ‘in the black’ and that we are beginning our second year in better fiscal shape than we began our first year.”
“Considering how difficult that can be for a new company, Send The Light truly has a lot to celebrate this month as we look forward to our second year in operation,” he says.
Based in Elizabethton, Tenn., Send The Light Distribution is one of the nation’s largest distributors of Christian products serving more than 10,000 customers nationwide, offering next-day and two day service to most of the United States. The company employs a total of 135 people between its 200,000-square-foot Tennessee warehouse and its west coast warehouse in Sparks, NV. The company also has a Great Value Books division in Waynesboro, GA that serves international customers by shipping containers via ship.
Send The Light launches new program, Simply 42
Send The Light Distribution is making things a lot easier for its Christian retailers with the launch today (Feb. 11) of the new Simply 42 discount structure, which replaces the $5k Advantage Program.
The new Simply 42 means that instead of having to qualify for different discount levels according to your purchases, all customers who were formerly part of $5k Advantage will now receive a 42% discount on all books and Bibles (except “short discount” products such as homeschool and music).
“I’m thrilled that Send The Light Distribution is launching a discount structure that our customers have been waiting for,” says Mark Phillips, Vice President of Sales and Marketing.
“Our Simply 42 is not an elaborate program, complicated discount structure, or volume-driven incentive scheme that no one understands. It simply gives our retail partners access to over 58,000 Christian books and Bibles at a 42% discount…no strings attached. The retailer doesn’t have to worry about what discount level they currently are at, it is Simply 42 percent.”
“We believe with our East and West coast distribution centers giving our customers 1-2 day service, free shipping on orders of 15 units or more, and a straight 42% discount on a very broad range of Christian books and Bibles,” Phillips continues, “that allows Send The Light Distribution to serve the needs of our customers and enable them to maximize the benefits of using a distributor.”
“We look forward to rolling this new discount structure out on February 11. Preliminary talks with our customers have indicated this program is long-anticipated and will be very well received.”
Glenn Bailey, President & CEO of Send the Light Distribution adds, “Since buying the company last March, our owner managers have been listening more carefully to what customers want, and discount simplification is something we’ve heard most frequently.”
“Simply 42 will make it easier for our customers to qualify for our best discounts and know what they are getting in advance,” according to Bailey.