AT&T opens new retail operation in Selma

Published 1:55 pm Thursday, October 10, 2019

A wide range of elected leaders from Selma and Dallas County, as well as representatives from AT&T, were on hand for a ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday morning at AT&T’s new Selma operation on the corner of Highland Avenue and Franklin Street.

Local leaders present for the event included Selma Mayor Darrio Melton, Dallas County Probate Judge Jimmy Nunn, Alabama Sen. Malika Sanders-Fortier, D-Selma, Selma Police Department (SPD) Interim Chief Robert Green, Selma Area Food Bank Executive Director Jeff Harrison and Selma-Dallas County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Sheryl Smedley.

Blue and silver balloons emblazoned with the AT&T logo dotted the showroom floor, which was full of phones, tablets, watches and accessories.

Email newsletter signup

Before the contingent made its way outside for the ribbon-cutting ceremony, representatives from AT&T discussed the importance of the new shop and their inspiration for opening a new retail operation in Selma.

AT&T Gulf States Vice President Tony Mokry, who oversees AT&T stores across the southeast, said that the company decided to open its own retail operation in Selma after the city signed on to its first responder program.

The communications provider set up a mobile unit that garnered a “phenomenal” response from the community, Mokry said, and enjoyed a similar response as the retail site began opening its doors.

“When we open a store, it’s not just about these four walls,” Mokry said. “We expect to be part of the community. I look forward to doing business here.”

Local Store Manager Ryan Lehman followed Mokry, saying that he was “blessed” and “honored” to be from Selma and had a grand vision for the local store.

“My vision for this store is to pass it down to someone else,” Lehman said, expanding on the sentiment that the local store will be run and staffed by local people. “We have to generate some stream of revenue in this community.”

Lehman called the new store the “beacon of light that the community needs.”

AT&T Alabama President Wayne Hutchens also spoke during the ceremony, noting that AT&T has invested some $1.4 billion in Alabama over the last three years, a fact he notes is essentially standard for the type of investment the company contributes to the communities it operates in.

“We are a part of the communities we operate in,” Hutchens said. “We definitely want to be integrated into the community.”

Sanders-Fortier also spoke during the ceremony, saying that Selma is “open for business.”

“Selma has had a rich deep history,” Sanders-Fortier said. “But it’s nothing like where we’re going.”

“This AT&T store is great news for our Selma residents, businesses and visitors,” Melton said in an AT&T press release. “Enhancing the livability of our community – any community – is important. It’s exciting to have more services conveniently available to home and to welcome AT&T’s continued investment and enthusiasm for our city. In Selma, we continue bridging to a better future.”

The new store is open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.