Overall, religious retailing is a growth business in the United States. CBA International, the trade association for Christian bookstores and retailers, reported sales by member suppliers at $4.2 billion in 2002. A CBA sampling of retail Christian stores showed 57 percent of sales in 2002 were Bibles and books, while apparel accounted for about 2 percent of sales.
Strongly worded religious apparel is a growing trend, said Catherine Stellin, vice president of The Intelligence Group in Los Angeles, which forecasts trends. She said Devins “is ahead of the curve” with her stores.
Chris Rainey, director of marketing for Kerusso, Inc., of Berryville, Arks., said his company’s sales of various religious apparel, including T-shirts, increased by 70 percent in the fourth quarter of 2004 over the same period a year before.
“There has been such a rise in spiritual interest across the country, especially the youth looking for ways to express their faith and values,” he said. “They are wearing T-shirts both as a fashion statement and a faith statement.”