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.
Bill Wakefield, president of Wakefield’s and Martin’s Family Clothing, won the Bronze Award in the Annual Sales More Than $20 Million Category. The third-generation clothing retailer was nominated by Sherri Sumners, president of the Calhoun County Chamber of Commerce.
The Wakefield retail legacy began 85 years ago with James Wilkins Wakefield, who opened a men’s clothing store on Noble Street in Anniston. The business added women’s and children’s clothing in the 1950s. The first Martin’s Family Clothing store opened in 1961. The Calhoun County Chamber of Commerce gave its first-ever Small Business Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009 to Martin Wakefield, then chairman and chief executive officer for Wakefield’s and Martin’s Family Clothing, for the retailers’ continued support of the local economy. Bill Wakefield accepted the award on behalf of his father, who died a year later.
Wakefield’s and Martin’s sell moderate family apparel, shoes and gifts at six stores in Anniston, Oxford Gadsden, Decatur and Florence, employing 325.
The stores have 6,122 “likes” on Facebook. In his Retailer of the Year entry, Bill Wakefield said, “communicating with (customers via social media) on a full-time basis has improved our sales.” Martin’s just completed a model search among its customers to be featured in its After Thanksgiving advertising and its social media campaigns.
Bill Wakefield is president of the Donoho School board.
Alabama Retail Association President Rick Brown said, “Bill Wakefield is a retailer of the year EVERY year to his customers, employees and all of north and central Alabama.”
Bill Wakefield, Wakefield’s and Martin’s Family Clothing | 256.237.9521
Nancy Dennis, Alabama Retail Association | 334.263.5757 Ext. 101 | 800.239.5423