MONTGOMERY/BIRMINGHAM – The Alabama Retail Association in cooperation with the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Collat School of Business will honor 15 retail businesses with stores in 39 Alabama cities as Retailers of the Year or Centennial Retailers on Tuesday, Oct. 18, in Birmingham during the 2016 Alabama Retail Day luncheon. Alabama Retail has been presenting the Retailer of the Year Awards since 1999 and the Alabama Centennial Retailer awards since 2002.
Terrance G. ‘Terry’ Finley, president and chief executive officer of Alabama-based Books-A-Million Inc., is the keynote speaker for the 35th Annual Alabama Retail Day. Alabama Retail Day began in 1982 at the University of Alabama main campus in Tuscaloosa. In 2006, Retail Day moved to Birmingham under the direction of the Retail Excellence Initiative within the UAB Collat School of Business.
A panel of judges representing the media, chambers of commerce, retail developers, former Retailers of the Year and the academic community, selected 12 of the 2016 Retailers of the Year from a large pool of deserving Alabama retailers who have demonstrated a blend of sound business practices along with commitment to their communities, customers and employees. The public chose one of the finalists through a poll on the Alabama Retail Association’s Facebook page. The level of the individual awards will be announced at the Oct. 18 awards luncheon. Detailed news releases on each winner will be issued on the day of the awards ceremony.
Retailers to be honored at the 2016 Retail Day are:
- Avery Ainsworth, Fleet Feet Sports Montgomery
- Mark and Susan Anderson, Eagle Eye Outfitters, Dothan
- Linda Flaherty, Once upon a time, Mountain Brook and Homewood
- The Gray Family, Peach Park, Clanton
- Garlan Gudger Jr., Southern Accents, Cullman
- Andy Harp, founder of Gadsden-based Frios Gourmet Pops, represents Frios stores in Alabaster, Birmingham, Daphne, Fairhope, Florence, Gulf Shores, Huntsville, Mobile, Montgomery, Prattville, Trussville and Wetumpka. In addition, Frios has stores in Florida, Georgia, Mississippi and Texas.
- Lisa Jackman, What’s Popp’N Gourmet Popcorn, Huntsville
- Bryan Owens and Mike Elkins, Unclaimed Baggage Center, Scottsboro
- Marguerite Ray, Marguerite’s Conceits, Mountain Brook
- George W. Skipper III, Tacky Jacks, Orange Beach, Gulf Shores and Fort Morgan
- Megan Smalley, Scarlet & Gold, Auburn
- John M. Wilson, Super Foods Supermarkets, Evergreen, Greenville and Luverne
- Jheovanny Gomez Zuluaga, Jalapeño’s Mexican Restaurants, Tuscaloosa, Northport and Cottondale
In addition, two Centennial Retailers will be honored:
Autry Greer & Sons Inc.
Bay Minette, Bayou La Batre, Eight Mile, Fairhope, Grand Bay,
Grove Hill, McIntosh, Millry, Mobile (6), Prichard, Robertsdale, Theodore, Semmes
Founded in 1916 by Autry Greer
Owners: J. Barton “Bartee” Greer Jr., Jack V. Greer Sr., Jack “Jackie” V. Greer Jr. and Robert A. Greer
Swift Drug Co.
Founded in 1916 by George A. and William P. Swift
Owner: William P. “Buddy” Swift III
Photos of the 2016 Retailers of the Year can be found on the Alabama Retail Association’s facebook page and are available upon request.
The Retail Day luncheon begins at 11:30 a.m. Oct. 18 at 400 Beaumont Drive, Birmingham. Media representatives wishing to attend the luncheon should contact Nancy Dennis or Melissa Warnke by Friday, Sept. 30.
The cost for individual seats at the Retail Day luncheon is $50. To register, go to alabamaretail.org/retaildayregistration/
The Alabama Retail Association represents retailers, the largest private employer in the state of Alabama, before the Alabama Legislature and the U.S. Congress. Through sales of food, clothing, furniture, medicine and more, our 4,100 independent merchant and national company members touch almost every aspect of daily living. Since 1943, we’ve worked to promote what’s best for the retail industry in Alabama. Whether voicing the retail view when public policy is made, educating members about issues that impact them, negotiating rates for benefits and services or communicating the retail story, the Alabama Retail Association and its members are better together.