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.
Shane Spiller, president of Tuscaloosa-based Spiller Furniture & Mattress, a third-generation, regional 13-store home furnishings chain, earned the Bronze Alabama Retailer of the Year Award in the Annual Sales $5 Million to $20 Million category. Spiller Furniture’s 11 Alabama stores are in Aliceville, Brent, Demopolis, Eutaw, Greensboro, Northport, Prattville, Reform, Selma, Thomasville and Tuscaloosa. The chain has two Mississippi stores in Columbus and Starkville. Spiller’s dad, Mike, also was recognized as a Bronze Retailer of the Year in the then Annual Sales More Than $5 Million category in 2000. His grandfather, James, started Spiller Furniture in 1948. Spiller Furniture has been an Alabama Retail member since 1994.
The Spiller family and management team has “done a great job in a tough market,” the Retailer of the Year judges said. “They’ve got legs and staying power.”
In 2004, at the age of 30, Shane Spiller became president of the family business when his father retired. Three years later, the economic downturn hit and Spiller Furniture sales dropped 35 percent and stayed that way for three years, forcing the new president to reduce payroll, shut three stores and concentrate on efficiencies and marketing strategies to get the family business back on track. Since 2010, Spiller Furniture’s net income has been the best in the company’s past 15 years, according to an article in Retailer Now magazine. The company was able to contribute to the employee profit sharing plan for the first time in 15 years in the past year, Spiller’s Retailer of the Year entry states. The company recently changed its logo and added mattress to its name as mattress sales account for 18 percent of total sales. The company goal is to double annual sales by 2025.
But for Robin Jenkins, director of communications and marketing at the Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama, it was Spiller’s “a better community helps to make a better company” philosophy that prompted her to nominate him as an Alabama Retailer of the Year. “No one has been a more enthusiastic champion for the chamber or the local business community than Shane Spiller,” the chamber said in January when presenting Spiller with his second “Distinguished Service Award.” Spiller was also recognized in March as the North American Home Furnishings Association Retailer of the Year in the sales volume category of $10 million or more.
Spiller Furniture & Mattress has been an Adopt-A-School partner with Crestmont Elementary for more than eight years. A special book library at the school is even named after the company. Spiller chaired the YMCA Youth First campaign with a goal to raise more than $100,000. Chief Operating Officer David Williams is a Boy Scout troop chairman, directs one triathlon that fund meals for needy children and another that benefits a campaign to fight childhood obesity. A local food pantry is named after the company’s late vice president, Leonard C. Donahue, and last December, the management team at Spiller Furniture worked for a half a day at the local food bank by sorting perishable foods.
Alabama Retail Association President Rick Brown said, “Shane Spiller is a retailer of the year EVERY year to the Spiller Furniture & Mattress customers, 117 employees, the city of Tuscaloosa and the 10 other Alabama communities where it has stores.”
Media Contact: Shane Spiller, Spiller Furniture and Mattress | 205.333.2021
Media Contact: Nancy King Dennis | 334.551.0643 (d) | 800.239.5423