BIRMINGHAM – The Alabama Retail Association, in cooperation with the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Business, today recognized 18 outstanding Alabama retailers representing 13 retail businesses with operations in 29 Alabama cities and 16 states as “Retailers of the Year.” The presentations were made at The Club in Birmingham during the 2012 Retail Day Luncheon. This marked the 13th presentation of the Retailer of the Year Awards since 1999.
Terry Barkin, president of Shoe Station, a Mobile-based regional chain shoe store, earned the Bronze Retailer of the Year Award in the Annual Sales More Than $20 Million category. Shoe Station has 18 stores in five states, including Alabama where it operates eight stores and employs more than 200. Bill Wakefield, president of Anniston-based Wakefield’s and Martin’s Family Clothing, who was the 2011 Bronze Retailer of the Year in the same sales category, nominated Barkin for the award.
“Mr. Barkin has exemplified the highest qualities in retailing for many, many years,” Wakefield said. “He founded and built a family chain of stores that is one of the largest retailers in Alabama.” Prior to starting Shoe Station, Barkin was an officer for Rich’s department store.
The Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce also joined in nominating Barkin. “We are indeed proud of (Shoe Station’s) business success and growth from their 1984 startup in Mobile to becoming one of the nation’s largest independent shoe retailers,” said Bob Chappelle, the chamber’s executive vice president.
According to Barkin’s Retailer of the Year entry, “our sales per square foot are among the highest in the industry. We do so by filling our stores with relevant, current merchandise, reordering strong sellers and moving poor performers out quickly through sales and promotions.”
Shoe Station also gives back by partnering with Soles4Souls, the American Cancer Society and Distinguished Young Women. The retailer also has supported the University of South Alabama’s Mitchell Cancer Institute for many years.
Alabama Retail Association President Rick Brown said, “Terry Barkin is a retailer of the year EVERY year to his customers, employees and the communities where his stores operate.”
>> Full list of 2012 Retailers of the Year