Retailers saw an opportunity to expand gospel music in the marketplace

Christian music hits mainstream retailer

2002. The CD Store’s latest venture in retailing Christian music may become a significant part of the music industry in New Zealand, says the chain’s Manager Roger Harper.

Since July, a range of approximately 140 Christian tiles stared rolling into stores nationwide and Mr Harper says they are committed to the long-term development of this move.

The music industry worldwide is in decline, he says, because of the combination of product not selling and illegal copying of compact discs over the last eighteen months.

Despite the decline. Gospel and Christian music have grown significantly, which is one of the few real growth areas partly due to crossover musicians.

“On a mass market basis Christian music is not readily available and we believe a lot of good music of this kind is out there. It was also a commercial decision, as we wouldn’t have done it otherwise,” Mr Harper says.

He says business partner, Neil Stott, and himself are Christians, and they saw an opportunity to expand gospel music in the marketplace. They also want to support young Christian bands in New Zealand.

Distributing Christian music through their chain ten years ago would have been unforeseeable.

Mr Harper mentions that the Parachute Festival has had significant impact on increasing the exposure of Christian music as a while and has also given a platform for local bands to help them promote their music. The CD Store is a major sponsor of the Parachute Festival next year, and Parachute is their major wholesaler.

Retailing Christian music through a mainstream store in New Zealand will be commercially viable in the long-term, he believes.

They want to educate potential buyers about their product though advertising on Radio Rhema, Life FM, and magazines such as Soul Purpose.

Young Christian bands are extremely excited about their product being available through mainstream stores, he explains, as this gives them more distribution and access to the younger market who are less likely to go to religious stores.

 

By Peter Veugelaers.

Published 2002, Challenge Weekly.

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