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Peterborough’s Emmaus Family Books to close

After 16 years of service, the Emmaus Family Bookstore will close its doors for good this spring.

Joel Wiebe at MyKawartha.com reports that owners Jim and Sue Rose have decided to shutter their shop rather than “learn a whole new world of online business” to stay solvent.

As the only Christian bookseller in Peterborough, Ontario, the husband and wife team credit not just online shopping for a loss in sales, but declining attendance rates at local churches and Sunday schools, and a waning interest in faith-based materials overall. Emmaus’s fate, the Roses say, reflects the broader status of bricks-and-mortar Christian bookshops. From MyKawartha.com:

The number of Christian bookstores has declined across the province. Mrs. Rose says they used to go as a family to the annual Christian Booksellers Association conference, which would feature popular musicians and writers as well as give the stores a chance to network. As the number of stores declined, she says the conference ended and the stores had to try to network on their own.

The Christian Booksellers Association of Canada, which hosted an annual convention and trade show, folded in 2007.