UNLIKE WOOLWORTHS UK, Woolworths South Africa (a completely separate company) are still going strong, but recently decided to drop religious magazines as part of a business review. The decision sparked outrage amongst Christian customers, with lots of angry comments and counter-comments on the Woolworths SA facebook wall, which led to a rapid reinstatement of the withdrawn titles. Read all about it:
- Woolworths bans Christian mags, News24, 20/10/2010, 09.12
- Woolworths Official Response: Update on Magazines, 20/10/2010, 15.02
- Woolworths caves on Christian magazines, News24, 20/10/2010, 16.22
I’m sorry, Pope, but your visit did nothing for my bottom line. I am looking at unsold piles of papal pap, publishers’ poop. You didn’t even do a walkabout in Canterbury and sample mushy peas at the Turkish chippy near the cathedral. Perhaps if the Pontiff had appeared on “Jonathan Ross” to promote Jesus of Nazareth (his 22nd book) it would not be selling for 96p online. And although our own Rowan Williams is more charming than the “I-vill-ask-ze-questions” Bavarian, the archbishop’s famously abstruse works sell badly too.
The whole Reformation battle has come down to the Unacceptable pursuing the Impenetrable. Even Christ-specific shops flounder. SPCK has gone and the St Paul’s Catholic chain only survives by not paying business rates, and using unpaid nuns at the tills.
He continues in similar vein to the bitter end — The God delusion — but is he right? Have religious publications seen their day, or is it rather as “Christian publisher” observes in a comment, simply that Martin is “just not very good at selling them”? If that’s the case, if as most of us claim it’s more about mission than money — if we want to see Christian books available everywhere rather than only in our sector’s niche bookshops — what advice would you offer Martin to help him get over that hurdle? And what can we do to draw more non-Christians into our own shops — to get those books off of our shelves and into readers’ hands?