GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Family Christian Stores’ decision to close all of its 240 stores left a host of unanswered questions for the company’s 1,300 employees and customers after the announcement was made on Thursday, Feb. 24.
The Grand Rapids-based retail chain – which bills itself as the nation’s largest retailer of Christian books and merchandise — abruptly announced it would close all of its stores in 36 states because of declining sales in the wake of a bankruptcy two years ago.
No details of the plans to close the stores were included in the four-paragraph announcement. Twenty hours after the announcement, the company’s website still made no reference to the announcement.
At the company’s flagship store at 3120 28th Street SE, none of the displays or signs indicated the store was closing. An employee said they were forbidden to talk to media and offered a copy of the news release.
“We just lost our jobs right now and we can’t talk,” said one employee who fought back tears.
Customers also were left guessing. Travis Wohlford, a Middleville resident who stopped by the store to pick up a Christian movie he had ordered, said he recently began shopping at Family Christian after becoming more…