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 12 retail businesses with operations in 72 Alabama cities and 31 states as Retailers of the Year. The 12 winning Retailers of the Year were chosen from almost 50 nominees. The presentations were made at The Club in Birmingham during the 2013 Retail Day Luncheon. This marked the 14th presentation of the Retailer of the Year Awards since 1999.
Jan Clevenger, chairman of the Western Division for Belk Inc., the nation’s largest privately owned department store, earned the Gold Retailer of the Year Award in the Annual Sales More Than $20 Million category. Belk has 301 stores in 16 southern states, including Alabama where it operates 22 stores and employs about 2,000. Victor M. Brown, vice president of Minority and Small Business Development for the Birmingham Business Alliance, nominated Clevenger for the award. Belk has been an Alabama Retail member since 2007.
Belk has stores in Alabaster, Auburn, Birmingham, Cullman, Decatur, Dothan, Florence, Gadsden, Guntersville, Homewood, Huntsville, Jasper, Mobile, Montgomery, Prattville, Selma, Spanish Fort, Trussville and Tuscaloosa. All but the Dothan store belong to the Western Division, which was Belk’s Division of the Year for 2012. The Riverchase Galleria Belk is slated for a major remodel beginning in January.
The latest group of college graduates in Belk’s Executive Trainee Program, which prepares candidates for its middle and upper management, includes three Auburn University graduates and four from the University of Alabama.
Belk also gives back to Alabama through charitable donations including more than $150,000 in 2012 to such worthy causes as the YWCAs of Birmingham and Pell City, the Breast Cancer Research Foundation of Alabama, the Greater Birmingham Humane Society, the Boy Scouts of Alabama, and the Junior Leagues of Birmingham, Mobile and Huntsville.
While Belk is celebrating its 125th year in 2013, it first began its corporate presence in Alabama seven years ago. In August of 2006, Charlotte, N.C.-based Belk bought the Alabama-based Parisian chain from Saks Inc. The Parisian stores were rebranded in 2007 as Belk stores. In 2007, Alabama Retail and UAB recognized the Belk and Hess families as “Retail Giants.” The special one-time awards recognized the significant contributions to retailing made by Parisian and the Hess family as well as Belk Inc. and the Belk family.
Alabama Retail Association President Rick Brown said, “Jan Clevenger is a retailer of the year EVERY year to her customers, employees and the 19 Alabama communities where Belk has stores.”
Media Contact: Jan Clevenger, Belk Inc. | 205.941.2474
Media Contact: Nancy King Dennis | 334.551.0643 (d) | 800.239.5423