Alabama Goods, a Homewood and Huntsville store that sells Alabama-made goods, gifts, groceries and more, has signed leases to expand its Homewood operations and open a new store in Hoover.
Beth Staula, who co-owns with Sherry Hartley, said the development of the new Hoover shop, which is to be built in Stadium Trace Village, has taken a long time.
“It’s a location we’ve been considering for years,” Staula said.
Using website data that provides shopper information, Staula and Hartley can see that many Hoover residents shop at Alabama Goods, making it a no-brainer to open in the city. Owners are also very numbers-driven, which allows them to base those decisions on historical information rather than just feelings, Staula said.
Still, Staula said it was special to be able to open in her hometown in a place she loves.
“I’m a Hoover girl; I grew up there,” Staula said. “I feel like I’m in my backyard.”
Staula said the Hoover store’s products will be largely the same (around 80%) as those sold in Homewood. The difference will be the Hoover-centric products, like gifts and other items that pay tribute to Hoover icons like Hoover Met or Aldridge Gardens, and items with Hoover zip codes on them, she said.
In the 15 years since Alabama Goods launched as an online business, it has never received more news and feedback than when it announced the Hoover deal, Staula said.
The Hoover store will have a different shape than the Homewood store, but the floor plan, displays and lighting will be the same, Staula said. According to a press release, the store will cover around 2,500 square meters.
“We are very excited to be part of the Hoover community,” Hartley said in the press release. “We think the residents of Hoover and Stadium Trace are a great fit for our business.”
The store features pottery, groceries, gift baskets and packages, t-shirts, hats, jewelry and more, all made in Alabama. Many shoppers will walk in and tell employees they didn’t know certain items were made in the state, Staula said.
Although the store does not yet have an address, it is located across from ARC Realty and near MELT.
Only one to two employees from the Homewood store make their way to the Hoover store, so more employees will be hired shortly before it opens, Staula said. Originally planned for July 2022, the opening was postponed due to construction delays.
The groundbreaking is planned for December, with a construction period of seven to eight months to follow, Staula said. The hope is that the store will open in the summer of 2023, she said.
The store has benefited from positive press of late and was named Gold Dealer of the Year by the Alabama Retail Association.
“It’s tremendously exciting,” Staula said. “I enjoy doing this work every day.”
The business is also expanding at its Homewood operations center, having recently signed a lease to double the size of that space, which is located in West Homewood. The Operations Center manages online and corporate sales for the company.
The expansion has doubled its original size in preparation for gift-giving season.
“The company’s sales have grown to a point where we were bursting at the seams,” Staula said. “We are happy about the additional space.”