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.
The managers and employees of the Mountain Brook Leaf & Petal, a 39-year-old plant, gift and outdoor design business, earned the Bronze Retailer of the Year Award in the Annual Sales Less Than $1 Million category. The Retailer of the Year judges were impressed with the Mountain Brook store’s past year financials, which they described as “incredibly strong.” The flagship store in Mountain Brook Village has had double digit increases every month, and the company as a whole is up almost 20 percent, Mark Thompson, manager of the Mountain Brook store, said in Leaf & Petal’s Retailer of the Year entry. Leaf & Petal also has a store at the Summit in Vestavia Hills and a gift boutique at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens. Village Gardens LLC, the umbrella company for Leaf & Petal, has been an Alabama Retail Association member since 2005.
The Mountain Brook store, which employs nine, and the other Leaf & Petal locations promote a “Mayberry approach” to customer service. “Customers really are the heart of this business,” Thompson told Suzan Doidge, executive director of the Mountain Brook Chamber of Commerce, who nominated Leaf & Petal. “We get to know them one on one. We’re here for the high and low spots in life,” Thompson said.
The Retailer of the Year judges described owners Taylor and Lydia Pursell as “generous people.” The judges also were impressed that 80 percent of Leaf & Petal’s plants and products come from local growers and artisans. The Mountain Brook store even partnered with local business Coop & Caboodle to bring chickens onto their property. “Seeing the ‘girls’ has become a popular neighborhood trip that keeps moms, dads, babysitters, and grandparents coming into the shop,” Thompson said.
Alabama Retail Association President Rick Brown said, “The managers and employees at the Leaf & Petal in the Mountain Brook Village are retailers of the year EVERY year to their customers and the Mountain Brook community.”
Media Contact: Mark Thompson, Leaf & Petal | 205.871.3832
Media Contact: Nancy King Dennis | 334.551.0643 (d) | 880.239.5423