When 19-year-old Stephen Hendrickson and his 14-year-old brother Ray started Christian Book Distributors out of their parents’ home in Lynn, Massachusetts in 1978, they were unaware that the fledgling company’s acronym would be a source of confusion four decades later.
Currently, Christian Book Distributors is the world’s largest retailer of Christian books and other products, operating out of a 300,000 square-foot facility in Peabody.
“When we started the business 40 years ago out of Mom and Dad’s house, we came up with the name Christian Book Distributors as we felt it described what we did—distribute Christian books,” said Ray in a statement. “We had no graphics department or brand consultants but thought using the initials CBD as our logo at the top of the catalog would work well—and did, for many years.”
In the late 1990s, the company acquired an additional brand name with the launch of a new website, christianbook.com, and has maintained it along with the Christian Book Distributors, and CBD brand names ever since.
But with a steady rise in the popularity of cannabidiol (CBD) products in recent years, confusion with the book distributor’s acronym was all but inevitable.
The company says that a Google search for CBD would place them at the top of the results in the past.
But now their site is nowhere to be found among the vast number of cannabidiol products that show up first.
People have also been calling the company requesting CBD products and asking to know where their order is, reports the New York Times.
As the popularity of CBD products is unlikely to do anything but increase as cannabis continues to gain acceptance worldwide, the company has decided to consolidate all of its brands into Christianbook and no longer use the CBD abbreviation.
The company will retain ownership of cbd.com which, they told the Boston Globe, is not for sale.
Ray says that they are committed to the discount catalog side of the company that started everything 40 years ago and that they have no plans to change the way they do business.