Store crowned retailer of the year

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F.M. Light & Sons in downtown Steamboat Springs celebrated the beginning of its 101st year with news that it had been named the 2005 Stetson Retailer of the Year.

Co-owner Del Lockhart said F.M. Light & Sons is the oldest Stetson dealer west of the Mississippi River.

Stan Redding, Stetson's vice president of sales, said the Retailer of the Year award is based on more criteria than sales volume. Instead, selection criteria are chosen deliberately to allow retailers to be considered regardless of their size or location. Factors taken into account include commitment to the Stetson brand, year-over-year sales growth and customer satisfaction.

"Stetson is fortunate to have a retailer like F.M. Light & Sons, whose dedication and passion for the Stetson brand is at the forefront of the business model," Redding said.

Lockhart said his family's store makes a concerted effort to use the historic Stetson brand to build its own reputation.

"It's one thing to sell a lot of hats," Lockhart said, "but we work at trying to promote their brand because we know people can relate to us within that brand."

F.M. Light & Sons is at 830 Lincoln Ave.

-- To reach Tom Ross, call 871-4205

or e-mail tross@steamboatpilot.com

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