Magan Bartlett, from the Cullman Area Chamber of Commerce, holds a "Shop Alabama for the Holidays" sign at last year's event. The Alabama Retail Association will kick off this year's event on Friday in Cullman. (Tribune file photo)
CULLMAN – For the second year in a row, the Alabama Retail Association has selected Cullman to kick off its third annual Shop Alabama for the Holidays tour! Just in time for the busiest shopping weeks of the year, Alabama Retail will kick off the statewide shopping initiative and announce its new holiday hashtag campaign, #DoubleYourGift, at a community rally and news conference. The event, hosted in partnership with the Cullman Area Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Center and Cullman area retailers, is set for 5 p.m. Nov. 9 at the Cullman Chamber. Afterward, attendees are invited outside to celebrate the annual lights display along Second Avenue downtown, as well as the many retailers who have decorated their storefronts for the holidays.
- WHAT: Shop Alabama for the Holidays Kickoff & Christmas Open House
- WHO: Mayor Woody Jacobs, Cullman Area Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Center, Alabama Retail Association,
- WHERE: Cullman Area Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Center, 201 Second Ave. SW, Cullman
- WHEN: 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 9
The Alabama Retail Association predicts 2018 will be the strongest holiday shopping season on record for the state, with more than $12 billion dollars expected to be spent in the months of November and December. The numbers represent a 4.5 percent increase in holiday spending this year than last.
Other stops on the Shop Alabama for the Holidays tour include Clanton, Huntsville, Montgomery and Orange Beach. Shop Alabama, an initiative of the Alabama Retail Association, encourages residents to create a powerful ripple effect in their community by keeping their shopping, dining and leisure dollars local. The annual Shop Alabama for the Holidays tour also celebrates the experiences, traditions and contributions local businesses bring to the holiday season. Retail, including food and drink establishments, supports one in four jobs in Alabama and brings in $19 billion, or 9.5 percent of Alabama's gross domestic product, placing retail in the state's top five highest-producing industries outside of government.