BIRMINGHAM – The Alabama Retail Association (ARA), in cooperation with the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Business, today recognized 19 outstanding Alabama retailers representing 13 retail businesses as “Retailers of the Year.” The presentations were made at The Club in Birmingham during the 2011 Retail Day Luncheon. This marked the 12th presentation of the Retailer of the Year Awards since 1999.
Pam Hope, Love McGehee and Kathy Penton, owners of Southern Crossing, a downtown Opelika gift store, earned the Bronze Retailer of the Year Award in the Annual Sales Less Than $1 Million Category. “It is a store that makes our downtown attractive and provides desirable gifts for all occasions,” said Barbara Patton, president of the Opelika Chamber of Commerce, who nominated the owners for this award.
For 15 years, these three women have been selling an eclectic mix of gifts, including one-of-kind items by local artists. They provide their customers with wish lists, personal shoppers, trunk shows and after-hours get togethers for sneak peeks at new products. The Retailer of the Year judges commended them for their “community-focused retail platform.”
In their entry, the women said they change out products frequently so each display always has a “fresh” look and are always on the lookout for the latest gift ideas. “It is this constant search for the latest trends that keeps our current customers interested, and draws new business as well,” they said.
Alabama Retail Association President Rick Brown said, “Pam Hope, Love McGehee and Kathy Penton are retailers of the year EVERY year to their customers, employees and the Opelika community.”