Retailers across the state were honored in October during the Alabama Retail Association’s 20th annual awards ceremony. The association recognized 17 businesses with operations in 23 cities. These businesses employ a total of 791 people at 51 locations in Alabama. More than 70 businesses were nominated for the awards.
“It is an honor to be able to recognize such an outstanding group of retailers. Each retailer honored is a credit to their community and the retail industry,” said Rick Brown, president of the Alabama Retail Association.
Three retailers were honored for their longevity. The Centennial Retailers are Capitol’s Rosemont Gardens, Anders Hardware Co. Inc. and Metzgar’s.
Capitol’s Rosemont Gardens, founded by William Burns Paterson in 1892, is one of Alabama’s oldest continually operating retailers at 127 years. Rosemont Gardens stayed in the Paterson family for 94 years before it was sold to Jimmy and Myra Thompson in 1988, who renamed it. Their children, Lamar Thompson and Martha Moore, are the current owners of the flower and gift shop in Montgomery.
Anders Hardware Co. Inc. was founded in 1909 by J.H. Anders and Burwell Lewis Anders in Northport. The store still operates out of the same location on Main Avenue, although the name changed in 1921 to Anders Hardware to reflect a shift from general mercantile to hardware. A second location in Tuscaloosa opened in 2002. It is currently owned by Richard Rodger Anders Sr., the great-grandson of one of the original founders.
Brothers Melvin and Leonard Metzger opened Metzgar Brothers in 1919 inside The Battle House hotel in downtown Mobile. The men’s and ladies’ apparel store, now simply called Metzger’s, is currently owned by Ken Metzger, grandson of the founder Melvin Metzger. In the late 1960s, Metzger’s moved to Mobile’s Bel Air Mall but now it is in the Spring Hill area of Mobile.
“Retailers are at the heart of any local economy, and that’s certainly true here in Mobile,” said Bob Chappelle, chief operating officer of the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce. “Even as we see shifts in sales channels, I believe that customers in the long run are going to choose a local retailer for personal experience, for quality merchandise and the relationship that they build with sales people.”
A panel of judges chose the Alabama Retailer of the Year winners in four categories based on annual sales volume.
For annual sales of less than $1 million, the gold award went to The Coffee Shoppe in Selma; the silver went to The Cook Store in Mountain Brook and taking home the bronze was a tie between mb greene llc of Fairhope and P’zazz Art Studio in Prattville.
In the category of annual sales of $1 million to $5 million, taking home the gold award was Fairhope Brewing Co. of Fairhope; the silver award went to New York Butcher Shoppe in Birmingham and the bronze was awarded to Village Dermatology in Mountain Brook.
In the category of annual sales of $5 million to $20 million, the gold award was presented to Leaf & Petal of Vestavia Hills; the silver went to David Dawoud, owner of nine Domino’s Pizza locations; and the bronze was awarded to Wright’s Market of Opelika.
In the annual sales of more than $20 million, the gold award went to Adams Drugs in the River Region; and the silver award was presented to Jim Whaley Tires Inc. of Dothan.
Taking home the Gee Emerging Retailer of the Year award was Ugo Convenience Delivery in Tuscaloosa. The Customer’s Choice Award went to Jennaration Boutique Inc. of Northport.