Lutherans in the Twin Cities

Augsburg Fortress to close its bookstore at Luther Seminary

Augsburg Fortress, the publishing group associated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, announced that it would close its last bricks-and-mortar store, located in the Olson Campus Center on the Luther Seminary campus in St. Paul on December 28, 2012.

Luther Seminary President Richard Bliese said, “Given the dramatic changes occurring in the publishing industry, both due to online sales, as well as digital content delivery, Augsburg Fortress has made the difficult decision to close [its] final U.S. retail store.” The final remaining Augsburg Fortress store had worked with an agreement with the Luther Seminary bookstore since 1998.

“The partnership has worked so well that many people didn’t realize there were two stores in the lower level of Olson Campus Center,” Bliese continued. “It is a tribute to the way Augsburg Fortress’ store manager, Gary Anderson, and Luther Seminary’s bookstore manager, Terry Boehlke, have worked together to provide seamless customer service.”

“Luther Seminary’s bookstore will remain open and will continue to sell a variety of resources including Bibles, books, worship and music materials, and gift items, including fair trade items,” Boehlke reiterated. “The bookstore will also have clergy shirts, blouses, and selected stoles, as well as church supplies such as certificates, bulletins, disposable communion cups, communion wafers, and baptism candles.”

Demonstrating the industry-wide challenges in publishing, Cokesbury, the United Methodist Publishing House, announced November 5 the closing of all its retail bookstores. Cokesbury plans to invest more resources into the enhancement of its online business.

Through the end of the year, in-stock Augsburg Fortress congregational faith-formation resources will be available in the Luther Seminary bookstore. In 2013, orders can be placed by visiting augsburgfortress.org, wearesparkhouse.org, or by calling 800/328-4648.

Boehlke encourages shoppers to contact the bookstore at 651/541-3440 “to ensure we have the products you are planning to purchase.”

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