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.
Carol and Stephen Brooks, owners of Carol Brooks Home & Holiday Shoppe, a mom and pop gift shop in downtown Prattville, received the Silver Award in the “Annual Sales Less than $1 Million” category. Jeremy Arthur, executive vice president of the Prattville Area Chamber of Commerce, nominated the Brooks for this prestigious award.
“This store isn’t afraid to stock inventory and knows how to promote,” the Retailer of the Year judges said of this two-person operation, which has been in business for four years.
In a recent promotion, the gift store partnered with a restaurant across the street when the store was having a trunk
sale. Trunk show customers received a wine glass with the restaurant’s name on it, which when presented entitled the store’s customers to half off a second entrée at the restaurant. The restaurant ended up with a full seating for the evening and the store had a “$6,000 trunk show in five hours,” the Brooks wrote in their Retailer of the Year entry.
The store continuously updates its website, sends out e-mail blasts and advertises on cable television. The couple said they also have been amazed at the number of customers generated by its Facebook presence.
The store has added several new product lines this year, including some for jewelry, beads, environmentally friendly cleaning products and soy candles, the later at the request of customers. Being attentive to the customer is a cardinal strategy for the business. When you enter their store, they want you “to feel you have just met old friends.”
“They are small business entrepreneurs, who have made an investment in the historic district of Prattville,” Arthur said
in his nomination of the Brooks. “The Brooks’ have been very active in our local chamber of commerce, downtown merchants association, and many other civic groups promoting Prattville,” he added.
Stephen has served as secretary of Prattville Downtown Unlimited, the local merchants association, and as chairman of the downtown Christmas Open House. The store participates in the Halloween Candy Walk, a safe venue for trick-or-treating that attracts close to 1.500 children and their parents to the downtown area. The store also frequently donates items for door prizes and silent auctions.
Alabama Retail Association President Rick Brown said, “Carol and Stephen Brooks are retailers of the year EVERY year to their customers and the Prattville community!”
Carol and Stephen Brooks, Carol Brooks Home & Holiday Shoppe | 334.491.0142
Nancy Dennis, Alabama Retail Association | 334.263.5757 Ext. 101 | 800.239.3991