The annual report released Friday from CBA, the tradeassociation for Christian retailers, showed a net sales decrease of 3.1% for2009. The report also found that 25% of stores reported a sales increase lastyear and 9% had flat results. The report draws on data from 157 Christianretailers representing 198 rooftops from 41 states - including independents,regional chains, and national chains and representing a wide range of storesizes and types operating in various retail environments. CBA also reported thatthere was a net loss of 32 last year, compared to 37 in 2008, and while therate of closures slowed, so did the number of new store openings.

Looking at 2010,3.2% of respondents said they plan to close their store this year, down from 6.3%in last year's survey, and there was more optimism than a year ago. Eighty-twopercent of responding stores expect sales in 2010 to be the same or better than2009, with average increase coming in at 2.2%.