Barrett highlights the success of Alabama Power’s Appliance Center

Published 9:30 am Wednesday, January 18, 2023

VALLEY — Giselle Barrett, the sales consultant for Alabama Power’s Appliance Center in Valley, was the guest speaker at the Monday meeting of the Valley Lions Club. She talked about the amazing success of the local appliance center, which ranks second among the company’s 48 centers in terms of overall sales. The Valley office ranks above the company’s sales centers in most of the state’s urban areas, a most impressive accomplishment for a city with a little over 10,000 people.

Alabama Power is now celebrating its 100th year in merchandise sales. Power companies in very few states have had this kind of success in selling merchandise to the public. Alabama Power, for example, is the only Southern Company member to do this.

A major factor in this long-term success is the fact Alabama Power customers can finance such purchases and people can make affordable payments on their monthly power bills.

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“You can put it on your power bill, and you can pay a little at a time,” Barrett said. “It makes me so proud for our customers to tell us that they have gone to places like Lowe’s and Home Depot and that our prices are competitive with theirs. They like it that they get immediate service from us and don’t have to wait, wait and wait like they do in the big box stores. They like being waited on right away.”

Barrett said that a lot of customers are making the transition from gas to being all electric. The local appliance store is well set up to help people with that.

Barrett said that she’s well pleased for Alabama Power to be a partner in having small-town Alabama’s first smart village. It’s now under development in the Camellia Crossing subdivision.

Merchandise sales stores have kitchen items such as refrigerators and freezers, dishwashers, microwaves and ranges, laundry and garmet care items such as washers, dryers, irons, sewing machines and laundry accessories, heating, cooling and air quality items such as air conditioners, fans, heaters, and so on.

Appliance centers also have Ashley furniture items for the living room, dining room, and the bedroom along with patio and outdoor furniture.

Sales are not limited to Alabama Power customers. They can also be made to those who get their power from the Tallapoosa River Electric Cooperative (TREC), the cities of Lanett and LaFayette and other local providers.

Barrett prides herself on being able to get the customer an appliance they are looking for in a short amount of time. When a customer sees an item they like and are approved for a purchase, Barrett many has times made the drive herself to a company warehouse in Opelika to pick it up and bring it back to the Valley office.

Deliveries are made to homes on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

There may be delays in delivering the furniture items. Since Ashley’s bedroom furniture is manufactured in Vietnam and Malaysia, there’s a transport delay in getting here.

“We do complete kitchen packages,” Barrett said. “Our interest rate is lower than what’s charged on most credit cards.”

Barrett is a native of Costa Rica but has been in the U.S. for many years. She has four children. They include sons Jonathan (who’s in the Navy), Samuel and Aaron and daughter Sarah, a junior at Valley High.

It has been her experience both as a parent and a sales representative to know that today’s twenty somethings want it all right now. “Those of us who have acquired a lot over our lifetimes have gotten it little by little,” she said. “It takes time to have things, but you can if you are patient, manage your money wisely and have good credit.”

Barrett likes being in the situation where she is a human part of the company. “We are not here just to push and sell appliances and get them out the door,” she said. “We work with people to understand their needs and are trying to help them meet those needs. If customers are willing to work with us we can set them up what they want in the way of brand-new merchandise. Everything we sell is brand new, and they can pay for it a little at a time on their monthly power bill.”

People can browse online at SmartNeighbor.com/Stores before going to their local Alabama Power appliance store. This will give them a heads up on what they can see up close before they go there.