Press Release

Retail Academy Backed by Central Alabama Electric Cooperative Facilitates Program for Autauga County


CONTACT: Katelyn Little
Retail Strategies

BIRMINGHAM, AL (May 16, 2023) – Retail Strategies, the primary retail recruitment firm at the national level, has collaborated with the Central Alabama Electric Cooperative to provide Retail Academy, which will educate city leaders. Retail Academy, created by Retail Strategies, teaches communities the best approaches to attracting new retail and dining establishments, as well as providing resources to support and enhance current businesses. The Central Alabama Electric Cooperative has entirely funded the Retail Academy program for Autauga County on April 28 in Birmingham.

“Part of our mission at the Central Alabama Electric Cooperative’s mission is to promote economic development and improve the standard of living for communities in Central Alabama,” said Connie Bainbridge, Economic Development Manager for the Central Alabama Electric Cooperative. “Through our partnership with Retail Academy, our communities will benefit from actionable market analysis insights and participating stakeholders gain the necessary skills to attract and retain retail businesses. Our investment in Retail Academy supports our dedication to our member communities.”

“With Central Alabama on its path towards progress, it is crucial to equip communities with the necessary tools to encourage growth,” stated Madeline Farr, director of Retail Academy. “Our Retail Academy program will impart fundamental knowledge about retail and real estate to leaders from these communities, empowering them to support and strengthen their existing businesses while attracting new business. By taking advantage of the resources available through the Central Alabama Electric Cooperative, these counties are taking a proactive step towards fostering economic development in the region.”

“The Autauga County communities are ripe for growth, especially the interstate 65 corridor” said Kristi Pieper, Director of Economic and Community Development for Autauga County. “We are eager to begin implementing the recruitment strategy that was presented at the Retail Academy to gain retail traction in our communities.”

About Central Alabama Electric Cooperative (CAEC)

Central Alabama Electric Cooperative actively supports economic and community development throughout its area. CAEC is active in supporting efforts to build both the human and physical infrastructure necessary to improve our quality of life and promote vibrant, active, economically stable communities. CAEC partners with other state and community organizations that wish to achieve the same goals. For more information visit,

About Retail Academy

Retail Academy is a program developed from the leading national retail advisory firm, Retail Strategies. The program assists communities in strengthening their retail landscape. Communities will be trained and equipped with the tools and education necessary to attract new retailers to their markets, while providing support to their existing local businesses.

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