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 51 Alabama cities and 30 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 2015 Alabama Retail Day Luncheon. Stu Crum, the president of Bridgestone Retail Operations presented the keynote address. This marked the 16th presentation of the Retailer of the Year Awards since 1999.
Jim McAleer and daughter Melissa McAleer Cross, founder and president, respectively, of McAleer’s Office Furniture in Mobile, have earned the Gold Alabama Retailer of the Year Award in the Annual Sales $1 Million to $5 Million category. The Retailer of the Year judges made note of the McAleers’ energy and results in terms of sales performance, specifically their “strong marketing and presentation skills.” The judges were also impressed with their “use of technology to control inventory.”
Jim and Camilla McAleer started the company nearly four decades ago, financing it with a second mortgage on the family home. The business started out in a 3,000-square-foot space, and 36 years later now boasts a recently expanded 48,000-square-foot showroom, overseen by daughter Melissa McAleer Cross. The McAleers’ son, David, manages the business’s Pensacola, Fla., store, which opened in 1985. The two stores employ 21 with 17 working in Alabama.
Danette Richards, director of small business development for the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce nominated Jim McAleer and Melissa McAleer Cross for the award. “McAleer’s is a second-generation, family-owned and -operated business, with father Jim McAleer having started the business in 1979 and building it into the success it is today; and daughter Melissa Cross taking over a few years ago as president and continuing to build on her father’s success,” said Richards. “They are the kind of people and type of business that truly value the local community and help build success and opportunity in Mobile and the state of Alabama.”
McAleer’s Office Furniture prides itself on 400,000 impressions monthly on all its digital platforms, as well as a stocked showroom of furniture. At any given time, the store has more than $1 million in new and used furniture inventory. “We make it easy for shoppers to browse our selection online, then purchase locally. They get their furniture faster, at competitive prices, all while buying locally, which keeps our community strong,” said Melissa McAleer Cross.
The Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce honored McAleer’s Office Furniture as its Small Business of the Year for 2015, selecting it out of numerous applicants and three finalists. “They and their company truly stand out!” said Richards.
Alabama Retail Association President Rick Brown said, “Jim McAleer and his daughter, Melissa McAleer Cross, are retailers of the year EVERY year to their customers, 21 employees and the Mobile and Pensacola communities.”
Media Contact: Melissa McAleer Cross, McAleer’s Office Furniture | 251.476.8555
Media Contact: Nancy King Dennis | 334.551.0643 (d) | 800.239.5423