ORANGE BEACH / BIRMINGHAM – Oct. 18, 2016 – George W. Skipper III, managing partner of Tacky Jacks, today earned the Silver Alabama Retailer of the Year Award in the Annual Sales $5 Million to $20 Million category. The waterfront dining restaurant chain, with locations in Orange Beach, Gulf Shores and Fort Morgan, was one of 13 businesses honored as Retailers of the Year by the Alabama Retail Association, in cooperation with the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Collat School of Business at the Alabama Retail Day luncheon in Birmingham.
Tacky Jacks received several letters of recommendation for the award by members of the community and city leaders, including Gulf Shores Mayor Robert Craft, whose letter read in part, “They are good business people, and they are good citizens. Tacky Jacks pays it forward making Gulf Shores a better place to live.”
Tacky Jacks began in 1979 as a small tavern on Cotton Bayou, known for its access by land or sea. Today, all three locations feature the same unique water and land access, as well as retail gift shops with souvenirs and items from local artists.
“We want to offer a great product along with fun for the whole family,” said Skipper. “People come to the beach for the seafood, the water, beautiful views and relaxation. We feel we can offer all of those things,” he added. “But, we also want to make a difference.”
Skipper said what makes him the most proud of his business is the work they do to support veterans. Last year, for example, Tacky Jacks gave away an Action Track wheelchair to a disabled veteran. The wheelchair allowed the driver to go to the beach, hunting, camping or across any rough terrain that would have been impossible without it. The funds to purchase the chair came from the voluntary donation box outside Tacky Jacks, which the business then matched to pay for the chair.
“The cost of these special chairs starts at $11,000, but they are priceless to the recipient – they’re life-changing,” said Skipper. “People need to support our veterans.”
Tacky Jacks also raises money for the Alabama Gulf Coast Reef and Restoration Foundation through the sales of a specially developed Saltwater Mafia/Tacky Jacks shirt. Locally, Tacky Jacks was nominated for and received the Coastal Alabama’s Business Chambers Distinguished Business of the Year in 2015. This award is based on involvement and leadership in the community.
Yolanda Johnson, the vice chair for Retail & Business Services for the Coastal Alabama Business Chamber, who nominated Tacky Jacks for the award, said, “Tacky Jacks is our nominee because this company is a shining example of a very well-run organization that has exhibited strong growth, superior employment practices, market leadership and exemplary community involvement.”
The Alabama Retailer of the Year awards, started in 1999, honor retailers who have demonstrated growth, innovation and a commitment to their respective communities. This year’s winners came from a pool of more than 70 nominees.
“George Skipper is a retailer of the year EVERY year to the Tacky Jacks customers, its 75 employees and the Orange Beach, Gulf Shores and Fort Morgan communities,” said Alabama Retail Association President Rick Brown.
The Alabama Retail Association represents retailers, the largest private employer in the state of Alabama, before the Alabama Legislature
and the U.S. Congress. Through sales of food, clothing, furniture, medicine and more, our 4,100 independent merchant and national company members touch almost every aspect of daily living. Since 1943, we’ve worked to promote what’s best for the retail industry in Alabama. Whether voicing the retail view when public policy is made, educating members about issues that impact them, negotiating rates for benefits and services or communicating the retail story, the Alabama Retail Association and its members are better together.