Now that 2012 is behind us, we are taking the time to reflect on the past year and look forward to what opportunities we see in the New Year. 2012 was a booming year for ACityDiscount. We experienced growth in our product offerings, showroom floor, customer base and revenue.
January 1, 2012 marked our first day of membership with the National Association of Food Equipment Dealers (NAFED), a cooperative buying group. With the new membership came many opportunities to offer new lines at competitive prices to our customers. Since joining NAFED, we have added 25 new manufacturers to our online store, some of which have hundreds of items in their lines. The relationship forged with the NAFED buying group has been extremely beneficial not only because of the access to new products, but because of their continuous support throughout the year including hosting educational workshops and meetings between equipment dealers and manufacturers.
Also in January, ACityDiscount received the Crestware Dealer of the Year award for 2011 for our outstanding sales of Crestware Smallwares and other products. On January 27, 2012, Ray Brown, Crestware Manufacturing Sales Representative presented the ACityDiscount team with the prestigious award.
In February ACityDiscount celebrated our 1 year anniversary in the new building in Norcross, GA. Since then, ACityDiscount has become an active member in the local community by becoming a Silver Sponsor of the Georgia Restaurant Association (GRA) and a member of the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce and The Gwinnett Village.
During the spring, one of our goals was to highlight the expansions made on our showroom floor. In order to achieve this, we hired Google-certified photographers to create a 360-degree, interactive tour of our showroom. With this virtual tour, we were able to showcase our facility and allow our customers to virtually travel around the showroom. With more accessibility to new and used equipment, our customers have taken advantage of the convenience of browsing the selection on our floor.
In the summer of 2012, we purchased a 26 ft. box truck for the transportation and delivery of our food service equipment throughout the continental U.S. We branded the truck with the ACityDiscount logo along with a select few of our vendors. With the purchase of this truck we expanded our services to include local deliveries and pick-ups.
Our advertising and marketing efforts were also expanded upon. During the fall and winter months ACityDiscount was featured on 11 Alive Ways to Save, a savvy shopper segment on a prominent local news channel. During the holiday shopping season, Ways to Save anchor, Valerie Hoff, promoted our commercial grade smallwares and kitchen tools. This allowed for our products to be seen by both professional and amateur chefs, expanding our reach to the residential market.
We also increased our local exposure by leasing 2 billboards in the Atlanta area, including a digital billboard and a vinyl board. With the increased exposure to our local Atlanta market, our showroom traffic grew exponentially.
In keeping with the promotion of our brand, ACityDiscount made appearances at a number of industry related expos, conferences and tradeshows throughout 2012. Some of the events were held locally, which included the Taste of Georgia, Atlanta Chef’s Expo and the GRA Annual Meeting and Expo, while some of the events such as the NAFED conferences and National Restaurant Association (NRA) Show took place throughout the U.S. With each experience our team met with industry leaders, gained a wealth of knowledge and built stronger relationships with vendors / partners in order to better serve our customers.
In order to keep up with the growth of our business, the ACityDiscount team also grew. Throughout the year, we hired associates in several departments including Customer Service, Merchandising, Purchasing, Sales and Marketing.
ACityDiscount is proud to have accomplished so much in 2012. We hope to keep the momentum going and build a foundation for an even better and more prosperous 2013, when ACityDiscount will celebrate our 40th anniversary. Thank you to all of our customers, vendors, suppliers and associates for helping to make 2012 a great success!