By Jasmine Haynes
News of closing the Jackson Mississippi Cokesbury store produced many questions for shoppers. Surprisingly, the most frequently asked question was not about the store itself but about the future of a popular employee. Osman Grice has worked at Cokesbury for over fourteen years and has several fond memories and emotions connected to the store.
“I came not expecting to be here so long,” he said. “I would say to everybody thank you and not to worry too much about me, I’ll make it okay and I do appreciate all their help through the years I’ve been here.”
“My members said that Cokesbury had a going out of business sale so I thought I’d come and see what I could use in my ministry,” said Rev. J.B. Williams.
One of Osman’s frequent customers, Vickie Rundlett is an administrator at First United Methodist Church in Clinton and shared that she shops at Cokesbury weekly and that the store closing will greatly impact her church.
“It is always sad to see an established and needed brick and mortar business close,” said Rundlett. “We will continue to shop at Cokesbury but we’ll have to shop online and over the phone unless it’s something we need immediately.”
The greater Jackson area will not be left to navigate this uncharted territory alone. Cokesbury will send a sales representative in the near future to assist with the transition from the physical store to the online store at cokesbury.com and the toll-free call center. For more information on the transition, visit www.cokesburynext.com.
Cokesbury is owned by the United Methodist Publishing House (UMPH) and the company decided to close all the physical Cokesbury stores in the country. According to UMPH, Cokesbury will redirect focus and resources toward expanding and enhancing products and services for the online store, toll-free call center and regional sales representatives.One last note, Osman says he has some promising job leads. Wish him well!