NASHVILLE, Tenn. — LifeWay Christian Resources announced Wednesday they would close all of their 170 stores by the end of the year.

The Nashville-based Christian retail chain says they are focusing their efforts on online retail.

“LifeWay is fortunate to have a robust publishing, events and church services business. Our retail strategy for the future will be a greater focus on digital channels, which are experiencing strong growth,” acting President and CEO Brad Waggoner said. “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.”

In January, LifeWay announced the closure of several stores due to declining customer traffic. 

“While we had hoped to keep some stores open, current market projections show this is no longer a viable option,” Waggoner said.

The timing of the closures will vary depending on the particular store; however, the company projects all stores will be closed by the end of 2019.

The timing of store closings will vary depending on local circumstances. LifeWay expects all brick-and-mortar stores to close by the end of the year.

The company says digital sales have grown exponentially with five times the customers online than in stores.

More closings is available at LifeWay.com/StoreFAQs.