With 170 retail outlets, Lifeway will be closing all stores across thirty states and focusing on new digital strategies including expanded online sales.

As a part of the transition into more of a digital strategy, the company announced today that all brick and mortar stores will be closing in 2019. The major reason for this announcement was due to declining customer traffic and sales. Acting president and CEO Brad Waggoner said via a press release on the company's website:

LifeWay is moving into a new era with a strategic digital focus that will prepare us for the future and allow us to better serve our customers. While we had hoped to keep some stores open, current market projections show this is no longer a viable option."

The closing of the retail stores does not mean the end for Lifeway. They have been assisting churches and the religious community for 128 years and will continue to do so. Waggoner says, "As the market continues to change, primarily through shifts in brick-and-mortar retail, we are taking steps to meet customer demand for digital shopping experiences and to expand our reach globally."

Currently there is not a timetable for when the stores in Tyler and Longview will be closing, store closing are currently being based on local circumstances. Like many other retailers, Lifeway has seen online commerce growing and experiencing more sales digitally than in retail outlets.

More information about their closings can be found online.

Books in library
Getty Images/iStockphoto

More From 101.5 KNUE