Are sales slowing down? Have you had a rough month, quarter or year? While a lot of people are claiming that brick and mortar is a dying business model that's quickly being replaced by e-commerce, this simply isn't true. Your lack of sales has less to do with larger industry trends than it has to do with store-specific issues. Correct these issues and you should be just fine.

5 cost-effective techniques


Thankfully, boosting retail sales doesn't have to involve steep discounts or costly marketing campaigns. With just a few inexpensive techniques, you can give your retail business the jolt it needs to meet sales goals and bolster your bottom line.

1. Encourage impulse buys
We've all walked into a store looking for one specific item only to leave with three or four things that we didn't really need. In most cases, this behavior is rooted in impulse shopping.

"The simplest explanation is that some people just derive an enormous amount of pleasure from acquiring something new," consumer behavior psychologist Philip Graves says. "The act of buying is an act of empowerment that may be felt all too rarely in other aspects of life."

As a retailer, you can significantly increase your sales by encouraging impulse buys. The easiest way to do this is by lining up cheap, sensory items in the checkout queue. While customers are waiting, they'll naturally toss things in their shopping carts.

2. Push add-ons
Once you have a customer in the ready state of mind to purchase one product, it's much easier to encourage them to purchase more. One strategy is to have your salespeople push add-ons. These add-ons can come in the form of a discount or special sale, or they can be full-price add-ons if your salespeople are really persuasive.

For example, let's say you're selling a customer a digital camera. In addition to the camera, you could push things like camera cases, memory cards, batteries and extra lenses. Suddenly, instead of just selling a camera for $199, you're selling three or four items for $300.

3. Get people in the door
Your sales numbers are directly correlated to the level of foot traffic inside your store. It's an elementary concept, but sometimes basic logic goes out the door when you're struggling to meet sales goals. If you want to increase sales, get more people in the door.

You can use any number of strategies to get people inside, but it all goes back to grabbing your customers' attention. Try designing clever window displays, placing inventory outside, or having a personable salesperson stand outside and welcome people in. Whatever you can do to get people inside will increase your chances of driving up sales.

4. Offer future-use coupons
If you're looking for cheap ways to drive sales, you probably aren't keen on the idea of using a lot of coupons. However, there is one type of coupon – known as a future-use coupon – that has a low cost and a high return.

As the name suggests, future-use coupons are coupons you give to customers at the time of purchase that are valid for future purchases. The great thing about these coupons is that only a small percentage of people will ever redeem them. So while you may get 15 people to make a purchase because of the coupon offer, only four or five will ever take advantage of the offer at a later date. This allows you to maximize their value.

5. Let customers try
The final tip is to let customers try products. In-store demonstrations, trials and tastings are highly effective methods for driving impulse buys. Sensory exposure goes a long way toward moving customers to action. People see, hear, touch, taste or smell something that they otherwise never would have and feel like they have to purchase the item. READ MORE

BY LARRY ALTON
https://www.business.com/articles/5-ways-to-boost-retail-sales/

For Immediate Release: June 13, 2017
CONTACT: James Miller, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (850)701-3015

Dads to get showered with gifts in record-setting fashion this year; Meals, clothing, gift cards, electronics and personal care items top the list of popular options

ATLANTA, GA – The Georgia Retail Association (GRA), the state’s premier trade association representing retailers for over 50 years, says Georgia families will spend more than ever on Father’s Day this year. Consumers are expected to spend an average $134.75 for the holiday, up almost $10 from last year’s $125.92. Total spending nationwide is expected to reach $15.5 billion, the highest in the survey’s 15-year history and almost a billion more than last year.

“I am very encouraged to see that Georgians and families across the country are planning to spend more than ever before to celebrate the special dads in their lives,” said GRA President/CEO R. Scott Shalley. “These results show that Americans are feeling more and more confident and optimistic in this improving economy and dads and retailers can expect to benefit this Father’s Day.”

According to GRA’s partners at the National Retail Federation’s annual survey conducted by Prosper Insight and Analytics, consumers plan to spend $3.3 billion on special outings such as dinner, brunch or other types of a “fun activity/experience” (given by 48 percent). Clothing (given by 46 percent) and gift cards (given by 43 percent) are tied at $2.2 billion each while consumer electronics (given by 21 percent) follow at $1.8 billion.

As with Mother’s Day, greeting cards are the most commonly purchased gift at 64 percent but account for only $861 million of projected spending. Other popular gifts include personal care, automotive accessories, books, music, home improvement/gardening supplies and sporting goods.

The survey found 27 percent of shoppers will opt for a “gift of experience” such as tickets to a concert or a sporting event. The largest projected growth category was for “personal care” items such as cologne, razors, aftershave, etc. where spending is expected to be 20% higher over last year.

When searching for the perfect gift, 40 percent of consumers will head to department stores and 34 percent will shop online while 26 percent will shop at a discount store, 24 percent at a specialty store and 19 percent at a local small business. Among smartphone owners, 33 percent will use them to research gift ideas but only 18 percent will use them to make a purchase. Tablets are used more frequently both to research (32 percent) and buy (19 percent).

More than half of those surveyed plan to buy for their father or stepfather (54 percent), while others will shop for their husband (29 percent) or son (10 percent).

ABOUT THE GEORGIA RETAIL ASSOCATION
Since 1961, the Georgia Retail Association has been working on behalf of the retail community to unite and pursue the common goal of creating the best environment for retailing in Georgia. Retail supports 1 out of 4 jobs in the state and is directly and indirectly responsible for 78% of Georgia's gross domestic product. The Georgia Retail Association is a division of the Florida Retail Federation.

ABOUT THE NATIONAL RETAIL FEDERATION
As the world's largest retail trade association and the voice of retail worldwide, the National Retail Federation's global membership includes retailers of all sizes, formats and channels of distribution as well as chain restaurants and industry partners from the U.S. and more than 45 countries abroad. In the U.S., NRF represents the breadth and diversity of an industry with more than 1.6 million American companies that employ nearly 25 million workers and generated 2010 sales of $2.4 trillion. www.nrf.com.

For Immediate Release: May 24, 2017
CONTACT: James Miller, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (850)701-3015

Record amount expected to be spent on gift cards, greeting cards, apparel and electronics for Peach State graduates

ATLANTA, GA – The Georgia Retail Association (GRA), the state’s premier trade association representing retailers for over 50 years, says Georgia families will spend more than ever on graduation gifts this year. With more consumers buying for graduates this year – 36 percent compared with 34 percent in 2016 – total spending nationally is expected to reach $5.6 billion, topping last year’s record of $5.4 billion.

“Graduation is a significant achievement in someone’s life as they end one chapter and begin a new one, and recognizing this is important for graduates,” said R. Scott Shalley, GRA President & CEO. “Family and friends are eager to celebrate this important milestone, and we expect the gifts to Peach State graduates to reach record numbers this year, which is great news for Georgia retailers.”

According GRA’s national partners at the National Retail Federation’s annual survey by Prosper Insights & Analytics, the $5.6 billion total is the highest in the survey’s 11-year history. Cash will once again be the most popular gift, given by 53 percent of those surveyed as they seek to help students with the costly transition from high school to college or college to the “real world.” However, cash gifting is at a survey low in 2017, dropping about 10 percent from highs recorded in 2007 and 2009. Greeting cards follow at 41 percent, gift cards at 33 percent, apparel at 16 percent and electronics at 11 percent.

While ages 18-24 are the most likely to give a gift to graduates (at 48 percent), they maintain the smallest budgets at $78.42. The biggest spending is likely to come among parent-age 45-54-year-olds at $119.84 as well as those in the grandparent bracket of 65+, who plan to spend an average $112.34.

ABOUT THE GEORGIA RETAIL ASSOCATION
Since 1961, the Georgia Retail Association has been working on behalf of the retail community to unite and pursue the common goal of creating the best environment for retailing in Georgia. Retail supports 1 out of 4 jobs in the state and is directly and indirectly responsible for 78% of Georgia's gross domestic product. The Georgia Retail Association is a division of the Florida Retail Federation.

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For Immediate Release: May 10, 2017
CONTACT: James Miller, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (850)701-3015

ATLANTA, GA – The Georgia Retail Association (GRA), the voice of Georgia retailing for more than 50 years, is expecting record breaking spending for moms in 2017. Mother’s Day shoppers will shower their mothers by spending an average of $186.39—up significantly from last year’s $172.22 average. Total spending on this year’s holiday is expected to reach $23.6 billion.

“We are extremely encouraged by the record high projections for Mother’s Day shopping this year. The retail industry continues to be reassured by a strengthening economy and, as this survey shows, increasing consumer confidence,” stated R. Scott Shalley, CEO and President of the Georgia Retail Association. “Our retailers continue to rise to meet the demands of their consumers and that will be no different this year as they prepare for this exciting and busy shopping holiday.”

According to GRA's partners at the National Retail Federation’s annual survey, conducted by Prosper Insights and Analytics, this year's per person spending is the highest in the survey’s 14-year history. Consumers plan on spending $5 billion on jewelry, $4.2 billion on special outings such as dinner or brunch, $2.6 billion on flowers, $2.5 billion on gift cards, $2.1 billion on clothing, $2 billion on consumer electronics, and $1.9 billion on personal services. The most significant increases from last year are in jewelry spending, which is up 19%, and personal services which are up 15%.

The survey also found a difference in shopping habits based on the age of both the consumer as well as the recipient. For example, “gifts of experience,” such as tickets to a concert continue to be on the rise with 28% desiring such gifts and nearly half of the consumers surveyed under age 35 plan on giving such a gift. According to the survey, 35% of consumers will head to department stores, and 31% will shop at specialty stores such as florists, jewelers, or electronic stores, while 24% will shop at a small local business. As for online shopping, the survey found that 30% of consumers are expected to shop online, which is up from 27% last year.

The survey asked 7,406 consumers about their Mother’s Day plans and was conducted April 4-11. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.2 percentage points.

ABOUT THE GEORGIA RETAIL ASSOCIATION
Since 1961, the Georgia Retail Association has been working on behalf of the retail community to unite and pursue the common goal of creating the best environment for retailing in Georgia. Retail supports 1 out of 4 jobs in the state and is directly and indirectly responsible for 78% of Georgia's gross domestic product. The Georgia Retail Association is a division of the Florida Retail Federation.

ABOUT THE NATIONAL RETAIL FEDERATION
NRF is the world’s largest retail trade association representing discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores, Main Street merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants, and Internet retailers from the United Sates and more than 45 countries. Retail is the nation’s largest private sector employer, supporting one in four U.S. jobs—42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.6 trillion to annual GDP, retails is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy.

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Friday, 07 April 2017 15:13

GRA 2017 Legislative Wrap-Up

GRA and GhFA are celebrating the conclusion of another session where significant progress was made in strengthening Georgia’s retail industry, with eight GRA-supported bills passing. I am excited to report that we advocated successfully on your behalf on a number of diverse issues important to the growth and continued success of your business and our industry.

The following is a list of bills of interest. I want to thank you for your membership and support of our efforts to protect your business and its continued growth. We look forward to continuing our efforts in ensuring the Georgia retail industry remains robust.


Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday & Energy Star Sales Tax Holiday
Unfortunately, we were unable to revive this bill due to the Ways & Means Chairman being against it.

Result
Failed.


SB 201 | Paid Sick Leave
Sponsored by: Senator Butch Miller and Representative Brian Strickland

Summary
Relating to general provisions relative to labor and industrial relations, so as to allow employees to use sick leave for the care of immediate family members. Result Passed, unfortunately. This bill is on the way to the Governor for his signature. We have discussed with the Governor’s leadership team about the possibility of a veto, but it seems unlikely at this time. There was a provision added to sunset the bill on July 1, 2020.


HB 405 | Emergency Reentry
Sponsored by: Representative Bill Hitchens and Senator Ben Watson
Summary Relating to the emergency powers of the Governor, so as to require the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency to establish a state-wide system to facilitate the transport and distribution of essentials in commerce during a state of emergency declared by the Governor. This bill will allow for permits to be issued to businesses in advance of a disaster to allow for easier re-entry. This is on par with South Carolina and Florida’s laws as well. Result
Passed!


SB 200 | MedSync
Sponsored by: Senator Chuck Hufstetler and Representative Darlene Taylor

Summary
Relating to insurance generally, so as to provide for synchronizing all patients' chronic medications. This bill was originally focused on chronic medications but GRA worked hard to expand it to ALL medications.

Result
Passed!


HB 243 | Scheduling Preemption
Sponsored by: Representative Bill Werkheiser and Senator Marty Harbin

Summary
Relating to minimum wage law, so as to preempt local government mandates requiring additional pay to employees based on schedule changes.

Result
Passed! Georgia will now be one of the few states to pass this important business-friendly legislation.


SB 242 | Pharmacy Clinics Protocol
Sponsored by: Senator Renee Unterman and Representative Sharon Cooper

Summary
This is a clarification in the law relating to delegation of certain medical acts to advanced practice registered nurses, so as to provide an exception to the number of advanced practice registered nurses with which a delegating physician can enter into a protocol agreement at any one time for nurses in certain locations under certain conditions.

Result
Passed!


SB 121| Nalaxone Standing Order & Dispensing
Sponsored by: Senator Butch Miller and Representative Trey Rhodes

Summary
Relating to pharmacies, so as to provide that the state health officer may issue a standing order permitting certain persons and entities to obtain opioid antagonists under the conditions the state health officer may impose.

Result
Passed!


HB 342 | Enterprise Zones
Sponsored by: Senator Butch Miller and Representative Chuck Efstration

Summary
Relating to enterprise zones, so as to provide that certain urban redevelopment zones may be designated as enterprise zones; to provide for a sales tax exemption in such enterprise zones.

Result
Passed!


HB 481 | Drone Preemption
Sponsored by: Senator Brandon Beach and Representative Kevin Tanner

Summary
Relating to general provisions regarding aviation, so as to provide for preemption for unmanned aircraft systems.

Result
Passed!


HB 206| Pharmacy Bill of Rights
Sponsored by: Senator Hunter Hill and Representative Trey Kelley

Summary
"The Pharmacy Audit Bill of Rights," so as to remove an exception relating to certain audits conducted by the Department of Community Health; to amend Article 7 of Chapter 4 of Title 49 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to medical assistance generally, so as to provide that clerical or other errors do not constitute a basis to recoup payments made by providers of medical assistance.

Result
Passed!

Wednesday, 05 April 2017 16:13

Easter Expected to Bring Record Spending

For Immediate Release: April 5, 2017 CONTACT: James Miller, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (850)701-3015

Consumers expected to spend more than ever before this year, averaging $152 per person; Food, clothing, candy, flowers and decorations lead the way in popularity

ATLANTA, GA – The Georgia Retail Association (GRA), the state’s premier trade association representing retailers for over 50 years, says Georgia families will increase their Easter spending to record levels this year, with the per person average expected to top $152, up four percent from 2016. The total expected to be spent nationally is $18.4 billion, up six percent from last year’s record of $17.3 billion and the highest in survey history.

“With Easter falling almost an entire month later than last year, that means warmer weather and more people in the mood to spend money to celebrate,” said GRA President/CEO R. Scott Shalley. “This is great news for Peach State retailers, and with more consumers spending more money, we expect stores to be busy in the days leading up to Easter.”

According to the survey, which was conducted by GRA’s national partners at the National Retail Federation, consumers will spend $5.8 billion on food (purchased by 87 percent of shoppers), $3.3 billion on clothing (50 percent), $2.9 billion on gifts (61 percent), $2.6 billion on candy (89 percent), $1.2 billion on flowers (39 percent), $1.1 billion on decorations (43 percent) and $788 million on greeting cards (48 percent).

The 50 percent of consumers planning to buy clothing is up from 45 percent last year and is the highest level in a decade while the $3.3 billion expected to be spent is up 9 percent from last year.

With shopping lists in hand, 58 percent of consumers will head to discount stores, 46 percent will go to department stores and 26 percent will shop at local small businesses. In addition, 27 percent will shop online, up from 21 percent last year. Among smartphone owners, 28 percent will research products on their devices while 18 percent will use their phones to make a purchase, while another 9 percent will use apps to do their research or purchase products.

Consumers plan to celebrate Easter in several different ways: 61 percent will visit family and friends, 57 percent will cook a holiday meal, 52 percent will go to church and 17 percent will go to a restaurant. Children will have plenty to look forward to after the Easter Bunny arrives: 35 percent of consumers will have an Easter egg hunt and 16 percent will open gifts. In addition, some consumers will celebrate with more leisurely activities: 43 percent will watch TV, 10 percent will shop online and 9 percent will head to the movies or shop in a store.

ABOUT THE GEORGIA RETAIL ASSOCATION
Since 1961, the Georgia Retail Association has been working on behalf of the retail community to unite and pursue the common goal of creating the best environment for retailing in Georgia. Retail supports 1 out of 4 jobs in the state and is directly and indirectly responsible for 78% of Georgia's gross domestic product. The Georgia Retail Association is a division of the Florida Retail Federation.

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For Immediate Release: March 10, 2017
CONTACT: James Miller, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (850)701-3015

Spending expected to exceed previous records, totaling $5.3 billion nationwide; Per person spending to reach almost $38

ATLANTA, GA – The Georgia Retail Association (GRA), the state’s premier trade association representing retailers for over 50 years, announced today that spending for St. Patrick’s Day is expected to reach a record of $37.92 per person this year, which would set a record. The total amount spent nationally is expected to top $5.3 billion, up significantly from last year’s total of $4.4 billion.

“We continue to see spending on holidays and celebrations reaching or exceeding record highs, which reinforces the strength of our economy and the confidence that consumers feel,” said GRA President & CEO Scott Shalley. “Even though St. Patrick’s Day isn’t one of the bigger spending holidays, we still expect Georgia retailers to see a nice bump in sales, particularly those who offer additional discounts and sales to attract customers.”

According to GRA’s partners at the National Retail Federation’s annual survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics, spending for St. Patrick’s Day is expected to reach $5.3 billion, an all-time high in the survey’s 13-year history. More than 139 million Americans plan to celebrate the Irish holiday, and are expected to spend an average of $37.92 per person, up from last year’s $35.37 and a new record that tops the previous record of $36.52 set in 2015. The $5.3 billion total is up dramatically from last year’s $4.4 billion and tops the previous record of $4.8 billion set in 2014.

According to the survey, 83 percent of celebrants will wear green to show their Irish pride, 31 percent plan to make a special dinner and 27 percent will head to a party at a bar or restaurant. Twenty-three percent will decorate their homes or offices in an Irish theme and 15 percent will attend a private party. In addition, 15 percent are planning to attend a St. Patrick’s Day parade, especially those living in the Northeast (21 percent).

The survey found that 52 percent of celebrants will purchase food, 41 percent beverages, 28 percent apparel or accessories, 22 percent decorations and 14 percent buy candy. Of those making purchases, 39 percent will go to grocery stores, 29 percent to discount stores, 21 percent to bars/restaurants and 18 percent to department stores.

The holiday is most popular among individuals 18-24 years old, with 77 percent celebrating, but those 25-34 will be the biggest spenders at an average $46.55.

The survey, which asked 7,609 consumers about their St. Patrick’s Day plans, was conducted February 1-8 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.1 percentage points.

ABOUT THE GEORGIA RETAIL ASSOCATION
Since 1961, the Georgia Retail Association has been working on behalf of the retail community to unite and pursue the common goal of creating the best environment for retailing in Georgia. Retail supports 1 out of 4 jobs in the state and is directly and indirectly responsible for 78% of Georgia's gross domestic product. The Georgia Retail Association is a division of the Florida Retail Federation.

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For Immediate Release: February 9, 2017
CONTACT: James Miller, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (850)701-3015

Shalley to head the state’s premier retail trade association after leading the Florida Association of Counties; Current President/CEO Randy Miller to retire

Suni

ATLANTA, GA – The Georgia Retail Association (GRA), the state’s premier trade association representing retailers for over 50 years, announces the hire of a new President/CEO to lead the organization. Scott Shalley was chosen to lead GRA, as well as its sister organization the Florida Retail Federation (FRF), after a nationwide search. Shalley replaces current President/CEO Randy Miller who is retiring.

“We’ve been truly fortunate to have incredible leaders and visionaries to guide GRA in recent years, and we feel strongly that Scott has the experience in business development, association management and government affairs to step right in and make an immediate impact,” said FRF Board Chair Dan Doyle. “I want to thank Randy for the extremely important role he has played in making sure that he is leaving GRA and FRF in capable hands, and we know that the leadership team we have in place will be a tremendous asset to Scott as he takes our organizations to the next level.”

“I am honored and excited to lead the Georgia Retail Association and work with the top notch staff and dedicated board members” said Shalley. “I look forward to advocating on behalf of Georgia's 150,000 retailers to ensure the industry remains robust and that our member businesses continue to grow and succeed.”

Shalley comes to GRA & FRF from the Florida Association of Counties (FAC) where he served as Executive Director since 2015. Prior to that role, he served as Enterprise Director since 2012. As Executive Director, Shalley led an organization of Florida’s 67 member counties and 377 county commissioners, and managed a staff of 28. Prior to his time at FAC, Shalley was Executive Director of the Florida Association of the American Institute of Architects (AIA Florida) before joining the Figg Engineering Group as Vice President/Director of Business Management. He was at Figg for seven years, until moving to (FAC) in 2012.

ABOUT THE GEORGIA RETAIL ASSOCATION
Since 1961, the Georgia Retail Association has been working on behalf of the retail community to unite and pursue the common goal of creating the best environment for retailing in Georgia. Retail supports 1 out of 4 jobs in the state and is directly and indirectly responsible for 78% of Georgia's gross domestic product. The Georgia Retail Association is a division of the Florida Retail Federation.

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For Immediate Release: January 31, 2017
CONTACT: James Miller, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (850)701-3015

Georgia residents expected to spend heavily on food, drinks and decorations this year for Super Bowl LI, celebrating the unofficial end to another football season

ATLANTA, GA – The Georgia Retail Association (GRA), the state’s premier trade association representing retailers for over 50 years, says Georgia families will spend an average of $75 per person to watch Super Bowl LI between the Atlanta Falcons and New England Patriots next weekend. The average cost per person is down slightly from last year’s number with total spending nationally expected to reach $14.1 billion.

“Georgia families love football, and with the Super Bowl being the final game of the year, we expect fans to celebrate the end to great seasons in both professional and college football,” said GRA President & CEO Randy Miller. “The Super Bowl is truly a must-see event whether they follow the sport closely or not, and we expect local consumers to load up on food, drinks and decorations for their game watching parties.”

According to GRA’s partners at the National Retail Federation’s annual Super Bowl Spending Survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics, of the 76 percent of those surveyed who plan to watch the game, 80 percent say they will purchase food and beverages, 11 percent will buy team apparel or accessories, and 8 percent will splurge on new televisions to watch the game at home.

According to the survey, the 45 million people hosting a Super Bowl party should expect a full house, with 27 percent of those surveyed planning to attend a party to celebrate the big game. Bars and restaurants can also expect a good turnout with 12.4 million people planning to head out to watch at their favorite local spot.

Over 43 percent of viewers say the most important part is the game itself, 24 percent cite the commercials, 15 percent want to hanging out with friends, and 12 percent of say the half-time show is their top highlight.

The survey also found that 78 percent of viewers watch the commercials for entertainment and 18 percent say they make them more aware of the advertiser’s brand, but only 10 percent say the commercials influence them to purchase products. Sixteen percent say advertisers should save their money and pass the savings along to the consumers, and 10 percent say the commercials make the game last too long.

ABOUT THE GEORGIA RETAIL ASSOCATION
Since 1961, the Georgia Retail Association has been working on behalf of the retail community to unite and pursue the common goal of creating the best environment for retailing in Georgia. Retail supports 1 out of 4 jobs in the state and is directly and indirectly responsible for 78% of Georgia's gross domestic product. The Georgia Retail Association is a division of the Florida Retail Federation.

ABOUT THE NATIONAL RETAIL FEDERATION
As the world's largest retail trade association and the voice of retail worldwide, the National Retail Federation's global membership includes retailers of all sizes, formats and channels of distribution as well as chain restaurants and industry partners from the U.S. and more than 45 countries abroad. In the U.S., NRF represents the breadth and diversity of an industry with more than 1.6 million American companies that employ nearly 25 million workers and generated 2010 sales of $2.4 trillion. www.nrf.com.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 17, 2016
CONTACT: James Miller, Communications Director | (321)229-9266 | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Ruel Joyner of 24e.Deisgn in Savannah, Linda Lombardi or Phillips Furniture and Susan Costa of Hillsdale Furniture were selected as 2016 GRA Retailers of the Year

ATLANTA, GA – The Georgia Retail Association (GRA), the state’s premier trade association representing retailers for over 50 years, is proud to recognize three Georgia business leaders for their contributions to the state’s retail industry and their communities. Ruel Joyner of 24e Furnishings in Savannah, Linda Lombardi of Phillips Furniture in Warner Robbins, and Susan Costa of Hillsdale Furniture were all selected for different Retailer of the Year awards. Lombardi and Costa were selected on behalf of the Georgia home Furnishings Association (GhFA), which is a division of GRA.

“As the voice of retailing in Georgia, we’re proud to recognize three industry leaders who have made a difference and serve as examples for what retailers do for this state,” said GRA President/CEO Randy Miller. “These winners are representative of the talented, passionate and hard working professionals that make retailing such a great industry to be a part of.”

This is the second year in a row that GRA has presented Retailer of the Year Awards, which recognize outstanding retailers who have demonstrated exceptional commitment and service to their employees, customers and communities. This year’s winners were nominated by their peers and were carefully chosen by a selection committee based upon their outstanding commitment to not only their work and their industry also to their association.

Ruel Joyner | 24e. Design Furnishings – 2016 GRA RETAILER OF THE YEAR
Ruel Joyner is the owner and operator of 24e.Design furnishings located in the Historic District in Savannah. The offerings in 24e range from well-known brands to local artistry, and the store is a haven for the repurposed enthusiast. Ruel is a local community advocate who spends a great deal of his time and energy giving back, through his involvement with many downtown associations and small business groups, as well as supporting and donating to local charity events. Ruel Joyner is everything that a retailer should be: committed to his business, his customers and his community.

Linda Lombardi | Phillips Furniture – 2016 GHFA RETAILER OF THE YEAR
For over three decades, Phillips Furniture has furnished homes and businesses from all over Middle Georgia and currently has three stores in the Warner Robins region. The original store opened in 1983, and Linda has expertly utilized social media to drive traffic and interest to her store in recent years. Linda was also recognized for her commitment to customer service and her desire to personally handle every service issue.

Susan Costa | Hillsdale Furniture – 2016 GHFA REP OF THE YEAR
Susan is a very diligent and customer service oriented representative at Hillsdale Furniture for over 16 years. Her knowledge of the industry and professional interactions with retailers and sales associates are well known throughout the industry.

ABOUT THE GEORGIA RETAIL ASSOCATION
Since 1961, the Georgia Retail Association has been working on behalf of the retail community to unite and pursue the common goal of creating the best environment for retailing in Georgia. Retail supports 1 out of 4 jobs in the state and is directly and indirectly responsible for 78% of Georgia's gross domestic product. The Georgia Retail Association is a division of the Florida Retail Federation.

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Contact Us

+1(850)222-4082
Jon Stolp
Georgia Retail Association
227 S. Adams St.
Tallahassee, FL 32301
jons@frf.org