January 2017

The Parable Store In Arroyo Grande Is Under New Ownership

As of January 1st, The Parable store in Arroyo Grande, CA is under the ownership of experienced Christian bookstore owners Dave and Heather Wilke. The pair purchased the 2,600 square-foot store from longtime owners Steve and Laurie Potratz, who have operated it since 1981.

“It’s been a tremendous privilege for Laurie and me to serve the people and churches of the Central Coast for the past 36 years. We have built lifetime relationships that have richly blessed us and, most importantly, resourced Christians with products that helped them grow in their relationship with Jesus Christ and with others. We are so thankful for this community and the support they have given us. The Wilkes share our passion and vision for serving our community and I can’t think of anyone better to run the store and carry on its legacy,” said Steve.

The Wilkes have 40 years of experience in the Christian bookstore industry. They owned and operated seven Christian bookstores in the Los Angeles area. Dave Wilke has also worked in Christian publishing with roles at Gospel Light and David C. Cook. Heather has already been serving as The Parable’s general manager for the past year and they are both eagerly reentering retail store ownership.

“We are most excited about being a part of God’s plan to have Bibles that bring truth and books that bring hope and comfort and gifts that glorify God to those living on the Central Coast,” Heather said.

The sale is also an opportunity for Steve to transition into focusing more energy on his other business, The Parable Group. This multi-service marketing agency serves a variety of Christian organizations including Christian publishers, retailers, churches, non-profits, film studios and more. The Parable will remain one of his clients along with hundreds of other retail stores across the country.

This is the store’s 48th year in operation. It opened around 1969 as KT’s Bible Bookstore on Chorro St. until Jan Ulman bought it in 1973 and renamed it Jan’s Bible Bookstore. It became The Parable in 1981 when Steve and Laurie purchased it and named it The Parable. Since then, the store has moved from downtown San Luis Obispo to South Higuera. Today, The Parable is located at 921 Rancho Parkway in the Five Cities Center near Trader Joe’s.

12 Days of Christmas Sale Drives Repeat Customer Traffic for Christian Retailers

Christian Retailers who participated in the sixth annual 12 Days of Christmas Sale, developed by The Parable Group, reported that the sale effectively drove repeat customer traffic into their stores. The 12 Days of Christmas Sale, which started on Monday, December 5 and ran through Saturday, December 17, 2016 featured “One bestseller a day for 12 days at a ridiculously low sale price.”

The 12 Days of Christmas daily deals were promoted in consumer catalogs, targeted postcards (Every Door Direct), shared mail (RedPlum), promotional in-store signage, and email marketing by The Parable Group. Bagstuffer artwork and Facebook memes were also made available to retailers.

Over 1200 customers came in two or more times during the 12 Days of Christmas Sale—averaging $23.16 per visit, meaning each customer spent a minimum of $46.32 during the sale. The average daily deal sale price was $9.30.

“We get excited when promotions appeal to and motivate customers—and when retailers are prepared for the traffic,” said Randy Ross, Sales and Marketing Specialist for The Parable Group. “Customers came in and shopped five, six, seven times—and one dedicated customer even shopped 10 times during the 12 days!”

Jesus Calling [Large Print Deluxe Edition], regularly $24.99 on sale for only $7.97, hit the #1 position on the group’s bestsellers list on December 17—selling over 4,300 units. Good Good Father, regularly $16.99 on sale for only $4.97, sold over 3,300 units and hit the #1 position on the group’s bestsellers list on December 8.

Mark Phelps from Evangel Stores in Medford, Oregon stated, “We sold 184 copies of Good Good Father, probably the bestselling title outside of Jesus Calling we’ve ever had for the 12 Days Sale!”

Barry Berglund from Parables in Omaha, Nebraska said, “The 12 Day Sale certainly creates some buzz. Because of Bethlehem, The Power of Being Thankful, and Good Good Father each sold about 300 units, and Magnolia Story sold just under 250 units in our store.” He added, “We appreciate the publishers working with The Parable Group to support this sale.”

Laurie Potratz from The Parable in Arroyo Grande, California stated, “The 12 Days of Christmas Sale continues to be a great event for our store. Customers look forward to it now. We utilized additional advertising to bring in new customers—they were amazed to get such great products at fabulous prices. Some customers came in for the deal only, but ended up shopping around and spending additional time and money in the store. It’s such a blessing to have the vendors work with us on these items that create excitement and satisfaction.”

All 12 Days of Christmas deals were vendor-supported. The Parable Group provides automatic sales reporting to vendors on behalf of retail stores which guarantees post-sale credits, improves cash flow and protects the retailer’s margin all while saving the retailer time.

“Pulling post sale credits can be a pain—especially this time of year with big sales events like the 12 Days Sale. It takes a ton of effort for retailers to look up one product at a time and review how many were sold during a specific date range at a specific price and report that information accurately. There’s no reason that a retailer should have to do all that! We take care of it for them and streamline the process using their data,” said Erik Ernstrom, Manager of Business Intelligence for The Parable Group.

“The 12 Days of Christmas Sale has been a big success for the past six years, and stores are seeing the response exceed their expectations. It’s an effective promotion that provides customers with quality products at tremendous prices while also motivating them to shop multiple times before Christmas to score the next great deal,” said Steve Potratz, President of The Parable Group.