In our final installment on this particular topic, we try to answer the question that we raised at the end of the previous article: Can the Adventist Book Center survive in the new environment that it finds itself?
Those of you who are older remember what was called apartheid, the system of government that existed in South Africa and what was then called Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). Apartheid was legal segregation; it allowed white South Africans and Rhodesians to control those countries and subjugate the black majority, even though whites were a tiny minority.
Though that system lasted for a long time, it met an inevitable end. As it was coming to an end, there was a white government leader by the name of Ian Smith. He said to the minority population, “Adapt or die.”
That is pretty much where most ABC’s are, at least, in my opinion: They can adapt to an environment that is very different than “the old days” when they had the health food and Adventist book market virtually entirely to themselves, or, they will die.
We talked about the ways that the environment has changed for the ABC in our last article, how:
(1) In this conference, the buying shifted from books as the biggest seller, towards food.
(2) The Adventist book market took another severe hit when the Ellen White books were placed on-line. That was a wonderful convenience for Adventists, but as the Book of Revelation might put it, it seems like a “deadly wound” for Adventist Book Centers.
(3) Adventist Book Centers have ceased to be the primary suppliers of health food for Adventist. You can now purchase a lot of those products at the major grocery store chains that serve the cities of our conference-especially, the frozen food products.
I remember the days when our ABC would ship frozen food products to customers […]