Retail Alliance announced the winners for this year’s Retailer of the Year Awards (ROTYs) at a gala celebration on Thursday night, May 22 2014, at the Wells Theatre in Downtown Norfolk. Check out the photos of the event here.

Norfolk-based, family-owned small business, Serendip, received the overall winner’s award. They were selected from among five (5) top finalists from across the region. This year Retail Alliance had a record number of entries with over 100 nominations submitted. 50 finalists were chosen based on judging criteria, and a “secret shop” conducted on each. The top five finalists were selected based on the outcome of these two factors.

ROTY Winners Serendip

“Unfortunately there can only be a limited number of Top Finalists and one overall Retailer of the Year. This was a tough year for our judges, because all our finalists are deserving of a ROTY award,” said Ray Mattes, President and CEO of Retail Alliance.

“This year one finalist stood out from the rest. Mother and daughter Mary Jane Klemt and Laura Klemt Slaymaker opened their home décor store, Serendip, in 2002 and work hard to provide the most optimum shopping experience to every customer. Their success is based on their overall attention to customer service, merchandising, and proper inventory as well as their involvement in the community and charitable organizations. That is why they are so deserving of this award.”

The five (5) winners were, in order of ranking:

Overall winner: Serendip

2nd top finalist: Wild Birds Unlimited of Yorktown

3rd top finalist: BedCrafters by Michelle

4th top finalist: Mannino’s Italian Bistro

5th top finalist: Taylor’s Do it Center

In addition to retail winners, Retail Alliance recognized outstanding Associate Members from Hampton Roads. This award is given to two associate members, one from the Peninsula and one the Southside, who have shown support and commitment to the overall well-being of our retail members as well as Retail Alliance. The two winners were:

Peninsula Associate Winner – CLT Accounting

Southside Associate Winner – Wall Einhorn and Chernitzer

Retail Alliance awarded their second Lifetime Achievement Award to a retailer that has shown attributes such as longevity, community involvement and reputation, amongst other things. This award was presented to Dan Ryan of Dan Ryan’s for Men based in Virginia Beach.

Dan Ryan Lifetime Achievement Award winner 2014 ROTY 2014-0187