Christian Book Distributors
|Key people||Ray Hendrickson, President & CEO|
|Products||Books, Bibles, DVDs, CDs, mp3s, gifts, toys, games|
Christian Book Distributors (CBD) is the world's largest Christian catalog and internet retailer (christianbook.com), sending out over 65 mailings of unique catalogs to millions of customers each year and providing online access to over 300,000 books, Bibles, DVDs, CDs, gifts, toys, games, and more.
The company was started in 1978 by brothers Stephen and Ray Hendrickson, who were 19 and 14 years old at the time, in their parents’ home in Lynn, Massachusetts. Three years later, as Stephen graduated from college and Ray graduated from high school, the business moved into its first commercial facility in Peabody, Massachusetts. In 1984 the company built a 24,000-square-foot (2,200 m2) facility in the Centennial Industrial Park in Peabody. By 1996 CBD had completely outgrown the site and built a new facility across the street, where it remains today. The facility is now 300,000 square feet (28,000 m2). CBD employs a staff of just over 500 while continuing to be a family affair — Ray Hendrickson is the President and CEO, in addition to his 81-year-old mom and 27-year-old son.
Christianbook.com is an eight-time recipient of the BizRate Circle of Excellence Platinum Award, which is presented to top performing online retailers who have met the criteria set by BizRate Research for outstanding customer service.
1978 - CBD was started by two brothers who were 19 and 14 years old, out of their parents’ home in Lynn, Massachusetts. At first, CBD carried only a few academic titles and offered them at discounted prices to pastors and Bible school students. However, with the help of their father (an Assemblies of God pastor) and mother, the two brothers soon watched their business take off. Orders poured in, and the driveway, bedrooms, and garage of their small house on a dead-end street in Lynn, Massachusetts, overflowed with boxes and boxes of books.
1980 - CBD hosted their first showroom sale at the Holiday Inn in Peabody, MA. These sales regularly draw thousands of customers to their warehouse several times a year.
1981 - The two brothers graduated — one from Central Bible College, the other from Lynn English High School — and within a month, CBD moved out of the Hendrickson family home into their first “real” business space in the neighboring city of Peabody, MA. Although the company has moved several times, they have always stayed in Peabody.
1984 - CBD became the largest company in the direct-to-consumer Christian catalog business. With a staff of 30, CBD moved into a newly built 24,000-square-foot (2,200 m2) facility that put all areas of the company under one roof. The company remained at that site until it relocated across the street to its current location in August 1996.
1985 - CBD expanded the product line to include Christian music. This was the first of many product line expansions over the years.
1989 - The number of employees grew to 90 while their building was expanded from 24,000 square feet (2,200 m2) to 52,000 square feet (4,800 m2).
1996 - In the summer, CBD moved into its newly constructed 240,000-square-foot (22,000 m2) facility — its current location today. 1996 was also the year CBD introduced their Internet site, Christianbook.com. With the development of Christianbook.com, CBD was able to offer customers far more products than ever before. The company grew to a staff of 320.
2003 - CBD sent out more than 50 catalogs and towards the end of 2003 expanded their music offering to include digital downloads from the major Christian music companies.
2004 - In August CBD moved into a new phase of ownership as Ray Hendrickson replaced Stephen Hendrickson as President/CEO.
2008 - As CBD celebrated its 30th anniversary in October, they announced it had entered into a partnership agreement with Focus on the Family to take over the ministry’s e-commerce site and product distribution. The partnership took effect early 2009.
2009 - Christianbook.com re-launched their MP3 store featuring an expanded selection of 100% DRM-free MP3 music titles for download to computers, iPods, and many other devices. CBD was selected by The Boston Globe as one of 2009’s Top 100 Places to Work in Massachusetts, ranking #22 overall and #8 in the mid-sized company category.
Since they do not have retail stores, in order to clear out space in their warehouse to make room for new Christian products, CBD used to open their warehouse doors to the public 2-3 times each year for customers to shop through all the products they carried at discounted prices.
The warehouse sales have since been phased out. Imperfect or slightly damaged products are now sold on the website under the "slightly imperfect" banner.