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.
Andy Virciglio, co-owner of Piggly Wiggly Food Stores of Jefferson County Inc., won the Bronze Award in the Annual Sales $5 Million to $20 Million Category. He is a third generation grocer, who has worked in the grocery business since he was 11 years old. He and his father, Stanley, manage the Homewood Piggly Wiggly as well as two other grocery stores at Crestline Village and River Run under the Piggly Wiggly Food Stores of Jefferson County Inc. banner. The Homewood location has been in business for 39 years and employs 65. Piggly Wiggly Food Stores of Jefferson County has been an ARA member since 1989 .
A.J. Virciglio, grandfather and father of the current operators, began the family grocery legacy as a partner in what is now Western Supermarkets, Birmingham’s largest locally-owned grocery store chain.
“The Virciglio family is one of the pillars of the Homewood community,” Tricia Ford, executive director of the Homewood Chamber of Commerce, said in her nomination of Andy Virciglio. “Their generosity is unmatched. They are truly a hometown icon always keeping up with the market they serve. They manage to offer to their customer base more per square foot than any operation I have observed. This well respected family has managed to operate with an incredibly high standard of business ethics.”
The Retailer of the Year judges commended the Jefferson County grocers for innovative thinking, long-term leadership in Alabama’s grocery industry and for developing their own wine product line.
Bottled by Curly Tail Cellars in Santa Rosa, Calif., Squeal, the grocers’ first label, was released in August 2010. The Squeal lineup includes three California wines: Chardonnay 2009, Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 and Merlot 2008. The newest label is Pigasus, which includes a Chardonnay, Cabernet and Pinot Noir. A third wine line is in the making.
In addition to being an ARA member, Piggly Wiggly Food Stores of Jefferson County Inc. is a member of the Alabama Grocers Association and the National Grocers Association.
Alabama Retail Association President Rick Brown said, “Andy Virciglio is a retailer of the year EVERY year to his customers, employees and all of Jefferson County.”