SALT LAKE CITY — The Distribution Services Division of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will close approximately a dozen stores in 2011, with additional locations closing over the next three years.

Items previously available at the soon-to-close Distribution Service store locations — including sacred clothing — will now be sold at nearby Deseret Book stores, expanding a collaborative effort between the two entities that began nearly two years ago.

A statement from Distribution Services indicated shopping convenience and more efficient use of resources were the major reasons for the move.

Consolidations will begin with Distribution Services stores located in Logan, Midvale, Orem, Spanish Fork, and Pocatello.

In 2009, six Deseret Book stores — in Ogden; St. George; Idaho Falls; Las Vegas; Portland, Ore.; and Deseret Book's new flagship store in downtown Salt Lake City — were redesigned to include the sale of church-produced products.

"The initial arrangement with Deseret Book has gone smoothly and has proven to be a benefit for everyone involved," said division director Evan Larsen.

Employees of Distribution Services stores being closed will be offered a voluntary severance package or assigned other work.

"We look forward to our expanding relationship with Distribution Services, and are committed to providing customers with the same premier service they've come to expect in Distribution Services stores," said Sheri Dew, president and CEO of Deseret Book.