The North Carolina Retail Merchants Association (NCRMA), a nonprofit trade association, last week honored four North Carolina retail companies with Retailer of the Year awards during a luncheon at UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School in Chapel Hill. The only grocer to take home an award was Carlie C’s IGA, the largest IGA retailer in North Carolina with 17 locations in Angier, Benson, Coats, Dunn, Erwin, Fayetteville, Goldsboro, Garner, Hope Mills, Lillington and Raleigh. Carlile C’s was founded in 1961.
The Retailer of the Year awards luncheon was held in conjunction with the 2nd Annual Retail Conference sponsored by the Kenan-Flagler MBA Retail Club. Not since the 1970s has NCRMA given out these awards. However, since the retail industry is now the largest private employer in North Carolina and continues to grow, the NCRMA’s board of directors decided to bring back the Retailer of the Year awards to shine a positive light on the stability and viability that successful retail operations bring to the Tar Heel State. The winning operations are examples of retail businesses that have helped sustain local economies, triumphed in the face of adversity and given back to their communities, according to the NCRMA.
In addition to Carlie C’s, other 2013 Retailer of the Year Award recipients include:
• Manteo Furniture & Appliance—Founded by two brothers in the mid-1950s in Manteo;
• Rising Sun Pools and Spas—Founded in 1972 by Charlie Vassallo, this company has three locations in Raleigh and Garner; and
• Belk Inc.—Founded in 1888 in Monroe, Belk is the nation’s largest family-owned and -operated department store with more than 300 stores in 16 Southern states.
“Our association was formed in 1902 to represent the interests of retailers before the various bodies of state government. Over 100 years later, we are still walking the halls of the legislative building and regulatory agencies making sure that North Carolina is a good place to do business,” said NCRMA President and General Counsel Andy Ellen. “What many do not realize is that the retail industry is the No. 1 private employer in our state, employing one in four North Carolinians. I am proud to work for the retail industry and prouder still that this industry boasts 23 of North Carolina’s 100 largest employers including five of the top 10.
“We are proud of our retail members who work day in and day out to provide superior value to their customers,” Ellen added. “The four honored are stellar examples of time-honored hard work, value and customer service all rolled into one.”