BIRMINGHAM – The Alabama Retail Association, in cooperation with the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Collat School of Business, today recognized outstanding Alabama retailers representing 13 retail businesses with operations in 48 Alabama cities and 12 other states as Retailers of the Year. The 13 winning Retailers of the Year came from a pool of almost 70 nominees. The presentations were made at the Vestavia Country Club in Birmingham during the 2014 Retail Day Luncheon. Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley presented the keynote address and signed a statewide proclamation declaring Sept. 23 as Alabama Retail Day. This marked the 15th presentation of the Retailer of the Year Awards since 1999.
David and Laura Darby, owners of Darby’s Village Pharmacy Inc., the mother company for Darby’s Village Pharmacy and Darby’s Medical Center Pharmacy and Gifts, both in Andalusia, earned the Bronze Retailer of the Year Award in the Annual Sales $5 million – $20 million category. The other Retailers of the Year in that sales category were: Frederick W. “Ricky” Bromberg of Bromberg & Co. Inc. and Betsy McAtee and the managers of Dreamland Holding Co. LLC. In 2012, the Andalusia Chamber of Commerce named Darby’s Village Pharmacy, which has been in operation for 17 years, as its Small Business of the Year.
“David and Laura Darby are both committed to serving the community that supports them,” said Chrissie Duffy, executive director of the Andalusia Area Chamber of Commerce, who nominated the couple for the award. “You will see them at just about any event or fundraiser and you can count on them to go the extra mile for their customers. They have a state- of-the-art pharmacy with “local” small-town charm. Laura has added a second location filled with beautiful gifts and accessories that her talented New York designer daughter helps her stock. Most importantly, all of their staff knows their customers, knows their needs and are so incredibly friendly.”
The Retailer of the Year judges praised the Darbys for being “important in their community” as well as for their businesses’ “strong sales growth” and increased service offerings.
“We maintained profitability in the company at a time when pharmacies are under stress from declining margins due to increased competition as well as third-party payers reducing reimbursement rates,” the Darbys said in their Retailer of the Year application. “We maintained profitability by increasing product lines, offering new services and cutting expenses.”
In 2013, the number of prescriptions filled at the Darbys’ pharmacies improved by 25 percent, while front-end, or non-prescription sales, increased 24 percent. They added biometric screenings, which measure cholesterol, glucose, blood pressure and BMI for patients, while emphasizing immunizations and doubling the number of vaccinations given.
David Darby is also a leader in the pharmacy profession. He was elected by a majority of the votes cast by all Alabama pharmacists to serve a five-year term, which began in January, on the Alabama Board of Pharmacy. He is a frequent speaker at the Auburn University Harrison School of Pharmacy, where he graduated in 1982. He has held numerous offices in the Alabama Pharmacy Association, including president and currently serves as a district trustee. He also is a leader in his community, serving as president of the Andalusia Rotary Club Foundation, which distributed $25,000 to local charities and groups in 2013.
Alabama Retail Association President Rick Brown said, “David and Laura Darby are retailers of the year EVERY year to their customers, their 17 employees and the Andalusia community.”
Media Contact: David Darby, Darby’s Village Pharmacy Inc. | 334.222.8825
Media Contact: Nancy King Dennis | 334.551.0643 (d) | 800.239.5423