BIRMINGHAM – The Alabama Retail Association (ARA) in cooperation with the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Business today recognized 12 outstanding Alabama retailers representing 10 retail businesses as “Retailers of the Year.” The presentations were made at the Cahaba Grand Conference Center in Birmingham during the 2010 Retail Day Luncheon. The event marked the 11th presentation of the Retailer of the Year Awards since 1999.
Homer and Adam Brown, president and store manager for BumperNets Inc., a table tennis and game table sports store in the Riverchase Galleria in Hoover, received the Bronze Award in the “Annual Sales Less than $1 Million” category. Homer Brown was a silver winner in this same category in 2008. Robert Linthout, president of the Hoover Area Chamber of Commerce, nominated the father and son team for this prestigious award.
BumperNets just celebrated 11 years in business in August. In the past year, it has opened an arcade room, created a new website and used its e-mail newsletter to promote special events and promotions.
BumperNets is more than a retail establishment; it is a destination and an experience. Customers can play games, take lessons with a professional or play in tournaments right inside the same store, where they can buy pool, table tennis, air hockey, foosball, shuffleboard or stick hockey tables. There also is a table tennis tournament every Friday night and a pool tournament every Thursday night.
Buying game tables hasn’t been a priority in the down economy, but the Browns found that people still want to play games, so they opened the arcade room. “Bumpernets has brought pinball back to Birmingham,” said Jim Belt with Stern Pinball Inc. BumperNets arcade room has the most pinball games of anyone in the South. The store even started a Magic City Pinball League. The arcade helped the store increase sales by three percent in the past year.
The Retailer of the Year judges credited the elder Brown for being a “good ambassador for the area and state.” In July, the 61-year-old Homer Brown set a new world record by playing in the U.S. Open Table Tennis Championships for the 42nd time in a row. Brown got into the business because he wanted to make a living doing what he loves, playing table tennis. He has been a National Senior Olympics gold medalist in table tennis for the singles, doubles and mixed doubles categories in his age group.
Linthout said Brown, who is an active member of the Hoover Area Chamber of Commerce, also is making a “strong effort to bring the USA Hall of Fame for Table Tennis to Birmingham.”
“The Browns are retailers of the year EVERY year to their four full-time and four part-time employees, their customers and the Birmingham metro area,” said ARA President Rick Brown. BumperNets has been an Alabama Retail Association member since May of 2009.
Homer or Adam Brown, BumperNets Inc. | 205.987.2222
Nancy Dennis, Alabama Retail Association | 334.263.5757 Ext. 101 | 800.239.5423