In light of concerns about the future of the Association for Christian Retail (CBA), Bob Munce of the marketing consulting firm the Munce Group has formed the Christian Retail Association (CRA). The new trade association is registered as a not for profit and “will provide some very special services to our retail members,” Munce said in a statement.
Munce cited “changes” surrounding the CBA, and described the CRA as being part of an “ongoing effort to support independent Christian retailers and the industry as a whole.”
Along with forming CRA, the Munce Group will continue to host its Christian Product Expo (CPE), a trade show serving Christian retailers that takes place twice a year. Starting in in 2019, the annual fall show will be expanded into an international event. The next CPE is in Murfreesboro, Tenn. from August 25-27 2019. (Its winter show will be held at the Kalahari Resort in Pennsylvania from Jan. 27-29, 2019).
Plans for the international show include special closeout sales and a cash and carry section, as well as a place for foreign language rights to be negotiated. Retailers will continue to receive expense reimbursements for attending CPE.
“Attending retailers were very supportive of an expanded show and appreciative of our continued commitment to provide strong spiritual emphasis, informative seminars, and great vendor participation at CPE,” said Munce in the release.
Munce, who is out of the country, was unavailable for additional questions.
As previously reported, the CBA came under the leadership of Edward Roush earlier this year, prompting a reimbursement incentive for retailers to attend the organization’s trade show, UNITE. However, shortly after the trade show, CBA’s president Curtis Riskey stepped down and several retailers who attended UNITE became concerned about the reimbursement program. Two retailers contacted by PW still had not received reimbursement checks as of October 24; the UNITE Conference was held in July.
President of CBA Media Deborah Mash did not respond to PW’s request for comment regarding the reimbursement issues or the newly-formed CRA.
This story has been updated with new information.