Shop Alabama tour coming to Clanton

Published 5:14 pm Thursday, November 8, 2018

By J.R. Tidwell / Editor

The Alabama Retail Association is making six stops on its third annual Shop Alabama for the Holidays tour.

The third stop on the tour will be Clanton. The event will take place on Nov. 14 at 10 a.m. in Corner Park.

“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,” according to a release from the organization. “The annual Shop Alabama for the Holidays tour also celebrates the experiences, traditions and contributions local businesses bring to the holiday season.”

According to the release, the tour stop will be hosted in partnership with the City of Clanton, the Chilton County Chamber of Commerce and businesses in downtown Clanton.

“A community rally and news conference is planned in each city in conjunction with city and business leaders, Chamber representatives and local retailers,” according to the release. “As part of the event, Alabama Retail will announce its 2018 holiday hashtag campaign for the state, #DoubleYourGift.”

Chamber director Francine Wasden said she reached out to the Alabama Retail Association and asked them to come speak here in the county.

“They will advertise for us and talk about some of our retailers. It will put a spotlight on Clanton and Chilton County,” she said.

Wasden likes the idea behind the #DoubleYourGift idea.

“When you shop locally, you are not only giving a gift to someone you care about, you are giving a gift to local businesses,” she said. “Shopping local continues to make our businesses thrive, and that sales tax revenue helps keep our county growing.”

People are likely to make trips during the upcoming holiday season, whether it is to visit loved ones or for shopping elsewhere.

However, Wasden would like to remind everyone to keep Chilton County and local businesses “first in our minds.”

“Even if you are going on a trip somewhere else, you can buy your gas and your snacks here,” she said.

The Alabama Retail Association predicts that this holiday season will be the “strongest” on record for the state.

“During the holiday shopping months of November and December, Alabamians are expected to spend more than $12 billion, based on the Alabama Retail Association’s prediction of taxed sales for those months,” according to information provided by the organization. “That represents a 4.5 percent increase beyond the $11.7 billion spent in the 2017 holiday shopping period.”