NORTHPORT – Chick-fil-A Northport owner and operator Ashley Gill has been named the 2018 Gold Retailer of the Year in the $5 Million to $20 Million Annual Sales category. The franchise owner impressed the Retailer of the Year judges with her adaptability, drive and remarkable success. The Alabama Retail Association today honored Gill at its Retail Day luncheon in Birmingham. Carr, Riggs & Ingram CPAs and Advisors, Slappey Communications and the University of Alabama’s Culverhouse College of Business were the luncheon sponsors.
Once one of the youngest operators in the entire company, Gill is also a two-time winner of the Symbol of Success award, the top honor in the Chick-fil-A chain, which recognizes restaurants that have recorded remarkable sales increases.
“To get to where I am today took a lot of humility, a lot of perseverance and a lot of grit. It’s an honor to see that work recognized,” Gill said as she accepted her award.
Jim Page, president and chief executive officer of The Chamber of West Alabama, who nominated her for the award, echoed the Retailer of the Year judges’ decision to award Gill the top honor in her sales volume category.
“Ashley sets the gold standard in terms of keeping a focus on customer service and the customer experience. Her energy is contagious, and she has made a name for herself as a leader in this community,” said Page.
Gill, whose grandfather, father and brother have been or are currently Chick-fil-A owner/operators, opened the Northport location in 2009. While the location was projected to top out with annual revenues between $3 million and $4.5 million, Gill and her team have shattered expectations, attributing their growth through innovation in the drive-thru. She and her team were the first to test out Chick-fil-A’s iPad ordering systems.
“People expect us to have hot food and fast and friendly service. That’s the first mile, but the second mile is where the magic happens. We strive to live in the second mile – to consistently go above and beyond. That’s where we believe we gain our influence,” said Gill.
Chick-fil-A Northport was one of 13 retail businesses honored as Retailers of the Year. This year’s winners came from a pool of almost 100 nominees. The Alabama Retailer of the Year awards, started in 1999, honor retailers who have demonstrated growth, innovation and a commitment to their respective communities.
“Ashley Gill is a retailer of the year EVERY year to the Chick-fil-A Northport customers, her 94 employees and the Northport community,” said Alabama Retail Association President Rick Brown.
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 4,200 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.
Ashley Gill, Chick-fil-A Northport | 205.330.1110
Melissa Warnke, Alabama Retail Association | 256.338.0621 | 800.239.5423
Nancy Dennis, Alabama Retail Association | 334.551.0643 | 800.239.5423