Christian Books Merchants Make a Deal

Christian Book Distributors, the catalog arm of Christianbook.com, has acquired Christianbooksdirect.com. Terms of the transaction, which closed in mid-September, were not disclosed, but it includes the customer list, Website, and the domain name of Christianbooksdirect.com.

Multichannel merchant CBD describes itself as the largest religious catalog company in the world, sending more than 60 catalog mailings a year. Its data card lists 834,000 12-month buyers, who spend an average of $70 per order on books, software, home-schooling products, gifts, and toys. In addition to its core catalog, CBD mails specialty titles for children, clergy, churches, schools, and home-schoolers.

CBD President Ray Hendrickson says the acquisition “fits us well. The size of our church list is significantly larger than their list. We’re taking some of their thoughts and lower pricing across the entire site and not just for limited titles.”

Hendrickson notes that Christianbooksdirect.com has a solid direct-to-church business. “We really do hope to build on that,” he says. “It’s a good combination. For them, they were doing a lot of sales to churches and ministry organizations, which are a lot of our key constituents already. We already thought there were good synergies, and we have a much broader customer base.”

Hendrickson, whose father was a pastor, started the business from his home in 1978 by selling Bibles to churches. Peabody, MA-based CBD then added a few academic titles to its product line, selling them at discounted prices to pastors and Bible school students.

CBD purchased Best to You, which sells Christian-themed gifts via catalog and the Web, in December 2006. Best to You has been in business for more than 25 years, and according to its data card, has nearly 47,000 12-month buyers, who spend an average of $60 per order.

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