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Retailer of the Year - 2007

Country Business Magazine
Retailer of the Year - 2007
The Rusty Bucket

Country Business Magazine selects The Rusty Bucket Retailer of the Year - 2007. This contest is the 10th Annual award given by the 15 year old trade magazine. The magazine for retail owners across all of North America provides business, marketing, management and insight into trends and industry news and events.

The intent of the award is to “recognize outstanding specialty gift stores that exemplify the spirit of independent retailing.” Following is a list of specific requirements stated on the entry form:

• Strong business management and savvy retail expertise in keeping your business on top of it’s game
• Creative merchandise skills in choosing inventory and creative displays
• Exemplary customer service
• Outstanding marketing and promotional campaigns
• Community and industry involvement

Out of potentially hundreds of country retail businesses in the US and Canada, we were part of 33 semi-finalists in the first round. The three finalists were selected and traveled (all expenses paid) to the Chicago Merchandise Mart for the award presentation following a luncheon of approximately eighty people representing retail and vendors across North America. Additionally, a Vendor of the Year - 2007 was awarded to 'Blossom Bucket' of North Lawrence, Ohio. Cindy Lowery (President) and husband, Jim Lowery (Vice President), have over 4,000 products with many of their selections on display at The Rusty Bucket.

At this luncheon, Mack and I were asked to participate along with last years Retailer of the Year recipients, on a panel addressing “How to Select and Market Local Handmade Crafts and Artisans”.

The links below provide information related to the Award Program Announcement, criteria, entry rules, award finalist and our entry cover letter along with the response to seven questions we were required to answer. In addition to the written response, we had to provide photos and examples of items to support our response. We submitted to them our response in a scrapbook format that is over 3” thick. This was the first time they had received such a thorough and comprehensive response – especially in this format. The entry scrapbook is on display at the store along with photos and the award trophy. On you next visit take time to look through the scrapbook and enjoy with us this special recognition.

As part of the award, we received a 24k gold-plated trophy, $5,000 in gift certificates from various vendors for merchandise for the store, The Rusty Bucket will be the feature article in the February 2008 Country Business magazine and the magazine will be providing professionally written press releases to area newspapers and television stations.

The week following our trip to Chicago, the editor of Country Business magazine, Susan Wagner, along with the President of a NY based internet retail site, Ray Gaulke www.giftandhomechannel.com, traveled to Apex to do a video shoot in our store to spotlight some of the things we do to market and promote our business. This will be used as part of a training video for other retailers on the above mentioned website.

ROTY 2007 PhotoShow & Articles...

View our ROTY 2007 PhotoShow

View The Garner Citizen Article - April 9, 2008

View The Country Register Article - April & May 2008

View Country Business Feb. 2008 - Feature Article on ROTY-07 The Rusty Bucket

View Apex Herald ROTY Article - February 14, 2008

NOTE: Video, PhotoShows and/or Slide Shows may require a minute or two to download depending on your internet access hook up.

More ROTY Pictures...

Recognition by the Apex Town Council...

Apex Mayor Keith Weatherly invited Pam and Mack Thorpe to the Tuesday February 5th, 2008 Town Council meeting. At the meeting the Mayor read a "Resolution - In Recognition and Appreciation of The Rusty Bucket" for receiving the Country Business Magazine 2007 Retailer of the Year. The Council were unanimous in their approval of the "Resolution" it was presented in a framed copy to Pam and Mack before a standing ovation attending the Council meeting. View the Resolution

Country Business Magazine
Retailer of the Year - 2007
The Rusty Bucket

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