Christian Retail Association (CRA), which formed in 2018 following the demise of CBA and now has over 300 members, is gearing up for its first international trade show, Christian Product Expo International (CPEI), in Murfreesboro, Tenn., from Aug. 25-27. Over 800 attendees are expected to attend CPEI, which is being presented by (CRA) and the Munce Group, both of which are led by Bob Munce.
As part of preparations for the show, CRA launched a new trade magazine, CRA Today, which is geared toward booksellers, distributors, and those allied with the Christian retail industry—including 3,000 retailers and 750 industry professionals. The magazine aims to both educate retailers with articles and inform retailers about upcoming Christian products, and it will come out four times a year.
In a letter from the president in CRA Today, Munce referred to the numerous unknowns in the Christian retailing industry, including the economy and purchasing trends. “CRA Today is here to help,” he wrote. Sue Brewer, production manager at the Munce Group, adds: “Our hope for the magazine is to continue to encourage, equip and engage the industry between CPE events,” says.
Meanwhile, CPEI is the second trade show of the year hosted by CRA and the Munce Group, and it’s “shaping up wonderfully,” according to Brewer. “We booked the Embassy Suites in Murfreesboro before we knew we would be the only industry trade show this year.”
Among the 800 expected attendees are 135 store owners, representing 184 stores, and over 100 exhibitors. Scheduled events include an industry update with Bob Munce as well as a keynote speech by bestselling author Kyle Idleman, in addition to presentations from Christian publishers and Retailer Training sessions such as Social Media/Search Engine Optimization, Marketing and Customer Service, and Inventory Management.
CRA is continuing its tradition of offering reimbursements for attending CPE that cover food, travel, and lodging. More information about CPEI and its regional winter 2020 show is a available here, and learn more about CRA here.