Pray for Peace

Local readers will know this already, but for those in other states and countries, here is a positive update on the Deseret Book/Seagull situation.

From the Salt Lake Tribune:
Seagull gets a reprieve from Deseret Book

The LDS Church's Deseret Book chain announced Wednesday that it will allow Seagull Book and Tape to continue purchasing its line of works through August while the companies work to bridge their differences.

The announcement was issued in a joint news release that stated "no additional details about the relationship between Deseret Book and Seagull Book will be forthcoming at this time."

Earlier in July, Deseret Book said it would stop selling its popular line of works, written by nearly 140 influential LDS authors, in Seagull stores because of a difference of opinion in marketing, merchandising and promotional techniques.

The stoppage was expected to go into effect at the end of this month.

The 30-day extension postpones a decision by Deseret Book that could cripple the smaller, privately held competitor. Deseret Book is wholly owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Seagull Book spokesman David Politis declined to comment on the specifics of the talks while negotiations are still ongoing.

Deseret Book and Seagull Book each operate a chain of LDS-oriented bookstores, in addition to publishing their own titles by Mormon authors. Even though they compete in publishing and retailing, the two companies have carried each other's line of books for years.

Deseret Book is expected to continue stocking books published by Seagull through its Covenant business unit.

-- Jason Bergreen

And from The Provo Daily Herald

GRACE LEONG - Daily Herald

A temporary cease-fire has been declared between LDS Church-owned publisher and retailer Deseret Book and privately-owned Seagull Book & Tape.

Seagull Book, which last week was warned it could lose its nearly 20-year professional relationship with Deseret Book by the end of the month, said Wednesday it is given an extension to buy Deseret Book products through Aug. 31.

The reason: Both companies have begun discussions "to explore options for addressing long-standing differences" over how the Deseret Book brand and products are marketed, placed and promoted at Seagull's 26 stores nationwide, said Jon Kofford, Seagull's executive vice president, in a statement Wednesday. Seagull has 21 stores in Utah including seven in Utah County. Five others are in Mesa, Ariz.; Los Angeles and Oakland, Calif.; Boise and Idaho Falls, Idaho.

Seagull, which has between 200 and 300 employees companywide, declined to comment if any layoffs are planned.

Representatives of both companies declined to comment on details of the talks or the buyout speculation.

Seagull spokesman David Politis disputed earlier reports of the number of Deseret Book titles and audio products currently carried by Seagull but declined to provide estimates. He said Deseret Book isn't the only source of LDS product for the company.

Seagull, which is owned by the Kofford family, has been marketing Deseret Book products since its inception in American Fork in 1987, while Deseret Book has been carrying books published by Seagull's unit, Covenant Communications Inc. Founded in 1958, Covenant is owned by V. Lewis Kofford, who is also Seagull's president and CEO and majority owner.

And for now, both companies are continuing to carry each others' titles. For Jeffrey Lant, a BYU student who has been in Provo for four years, that's a good thing.

Lant, who was shopping at Seagull's store in Provo on Wednesday afternoon, said he would visit both Deseret Book and Seagull for different promotions and selections.

"We're at Seagull today because they have a promotion on children's books. They're going for between $1 and $3. But we go to Deseret Book more often because their product selection is bigger. Ultimately, it's nicer to have two options because different stores have different promotions," Lant said.

Founded in 1866, Deseret Book operates 43 stores nationwide including 20 in Utah. Five of the Utah stores are in Utah County. Deseret Book's line includes books by leaders of the LDS Church including church President Gordon B. Hinckley, and its products are available at Wal-Mart, Costco, Sam's Club, Smith's Food and Drug, Walgreens, Barnes and Noble, Borders, FYE Stores, Amazon.com, and hundreds of other retailers.

This story appeared in The Daily Herald on page B6.

There is a lot of power in prayer. Pray for peace and resolution between these two entities. And while you're at it, pray for peace in Israel and Iraq; peace in our communities; peace in our home and in our hearts.


Anonymous said...


W.L.Elliott said...

Well, whaddaya know - ol' DB 'ain't so dumb as they looks!

Sometimes the big dog has to show a little teeth to get the respect they deserve, and obviously Deseret has come to that point. Smart old dog didn't exactly bite though, did it?

I think sometimes in the LDS realm, we tend to forget that business is just that - business. Business is about making money, increasing your profits, and in the case of publishers, raising the notoriety of the authors that so desperately want to be read. If DB is willing to bite a few ankles to do that for me, then more power to them!

I am very glad that they're working toward a positive resolution, though. We are, after all, in this together to a degree.

What I want to know is when the LDS publishers are going to start aggresively marketing toward national stores like Barnes and Noble, Borders, and the like. To keep going with the animal theme - this squabble seems like two roosters fighting over the coop when there's the entire barnyard to be had.

Okay, okay - enough with the farm analogies! *grin!*