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. This year’s winners came from a pool of almost 70 nominees. The presentations were made during the 2015 Alabama Retail Day Luncheon in Birmingham. Stu Crum, president of Bridgestone Retail Operations, made the keynote address. This marked the 16th presentation of the Retailer of the Year Awards since 1999.
Tommy and Ann Messer Glasscock, owners of MorLyn’s Fine Jewelry in downtown Clanton, earned the Bronze Alabama Retailer of the Year Award in the Annual Sales Less Than $1 Million category. The second-generation family business currently is being operated by the second and third generations. The Retailer of the Year judges lauded MorLyn’s for its strong customer service, especially the “sales philosophy: If you come in as a customer, you will leave as a friend.” Janice Hull, director of the Chilton County Chamber of Commerce, who nominated the Glasscocks for the award, said, “MorLyn’s is building on relationships established by Ann’s parents (the late Ken and Mary Ann Messer). It is now a cornerstone of all happenings in our community.”
Messer’s Jewelry was established in 1974. In 2010, after the passing of founding family members, the Glasscocks changed the store name and moved down the street. The current name, MorLyn’s Fine Jewelry, comes from the first three letters of the names of the Glasscocks’ two daughters, Morgan and Lynsie, who now work in the store. “We raised Morgan and Lynsie in the jewelry business and now our … granddaughters (ages 3 and 6 months) are here on a daily basis,” said Ann Glasscock.
Despite the recent recession, sales and profits at the business have grown on average 13 percent in the past five years. The Glasscocks credit their growth to one-of-a-kind marketing strategies. The campaign the Retailer of the Year judges found “most memorable” involved giving away a free rifle with each $2,500 diamond purchase. “This advertising has gained a lot of media attention from AOL.com and major news outlets,” MorLyn’s Retailer of the Year entry states. Another strategy that sets MorLyn’s Fine Jewelry apart is transforming the peach, the symbol of Clanton and Chilton County, into a different piece of jewelry each year. “This has been a true source of community pride and a huge profit generator for our business,” the Glasscocks said in their Retailer of the Year entry.
The Glasscocks take a lively interest in their community, including acquiring, renovating and leasing historic downtown Clanton properties. The Chilton County Chamber of Commerce earlier this year presented MorLyn’s with its Community Spirit Award. In 2014, the Clanton Lions Club presented the couple with the “Pillar of the Community Award” for their work in raising more than $100,000 for local charities. Tommy Glasscock uses his auctioneer skills to help many local organizations raise funds.
The Glasscocks also have served or are serving the community in public capacities. Ann Glasscock has served on the Chilton County Board of Education, while her husband currently is the county school superintendent.
The Glasscocks also are leaders in their industry. Ann Glasscock is a district vice president on the Alabama Jewelers Association board. They recently hired an intern through the Chilton County School System to encourage interest in retailing. “MorLyn’s is excited to be a part of training and developing the next generation of small retail business owners,” they said.
Alabama Retail Association President Rick Brown said, “Tommy and Ann Messer Glasscock are retailers of the year EVERY year to their customers, their daughters who are also their employees and the entire Clanton and Chilton County community.”
Media Contact: Ann Messer Glasscock, MorLyn’s Fine Jewelry | 205.755.4340
Media Contact: Melissa Warnke | 334.551.0631 (d) | 800.239.5423