LifeWay Christian Stores announced Wednesday that it will close all 170 stores in the United States this year. The move is part of a company transition to a digital strategy.

According to an announcement on LifeWay's website, LifeWay will have a greater focus on digital channels in the future.

"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," the message read.

President and CEO Brad Waggoner said the option of keeping local stores open was no longer viable:

While we had hoped to keep some stores open, current market projections show this is no longer a viable option. The decision to close our local stores is a difficult one. LifeWay has developed close connections with the communities where our stores are located, and we have been honored to serve those communities. We will continue serving local congregations as they meet the spiritual needs of their neighbors.

LifeWay has been in operation since 1891 and operates one location in Lubbock, located at 5017 Milwaukee Ave in the Canyon West Shopping Center.

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