Store Spotlight: Florence

Even though this last year was well, different; we are so thankful to all of our team members and customers who helped us make it through to 2021! To kick off the start of a new year we want to highlight our wonderful stores and communities who help keep us doing what we love! 

This week we are headed to Florence, Alabama (also known as Flo Town) to chat with our store manager Carla Mann! Our Florence store opened its doors in the historic Rogers Building in downtown Florence in August 2012 but has been a part of the Florence community since 1999.

Let’s check it out!


How long have you worked at AO and what interested you about working here?

I have worked at the Florence AO for 7 years now. I was interested to work here because of my love of the outdoors and everything this company stood for.
-Carla Mann


What we love about Florence

If you have not been to Florence or “The Shoals” yet, start marking your 2021 bucket list calendar with this must-visit town! The Shoals is the area of northwestern Alabama that includes Florence, Muscle Shoals, Tuscumbia, and Sheffield. The Shoals (most notably, Muscle Shoals) is most famous for their music scene and the musical legends that have recorded and played there over the decades. This is no Hollywood though, The Shoals will make you feel right at home.


University of North Alabama is also located in Florence which has given us tremendous opportunities to get involved with the community and the students. We definitely have Lion Pride! Fun fact: the University has a real lion den where African Lion, Leo III, basks in his state-of-the-art habitat home. Our in-store Florence Marketing Manager, Hannah Johnson, has so much passion for connecting with the community and takes her time to put together welcome bags for the students each year! When you schedule your Northern Alabama getaway, make sure to make a quick stop to say hi to Leo III, and us, of course!


One event we always look forward to is First Fridays. The first Friday of the month from March through December, head to historic downtown Florence to really experience the vivacious and talented community. This is a family-friendly event with artisans, cafes, and live music- it is so much fun!

“The city of Florence and community is great, it is cozy with a hometown feel”. – Carla Mann 


Which Alabama Outdoors core value resonates with you the most?

Our purpose is the core value that resonates with me. I love that we are here to influence people to get outside and building loyalty while making connections.
-Carla Mann


Our staff is full of passionate and knowledgeable team members who truly live our purpose day-to-day. At Alabama Outdoors, we believe that everyone should experience life in the great outdoors. We are the trusted resource in products and services to enhance your adventures. Whether you shop with us in-store or online, you will receive 5-star customer service with team members that love to share their experiences and knowledge. Come in and say hi and see what we are all about- we would love to help you!


Our favorite places to explore around Florence

There are many great places to explore near Florence. Wildwood Park is one that is very close and has so much to offer! It has mountain bike trails, walking/hiking trails, and runs alongside Cypress Creek which is perfect for canoeing and kayaking. We as a store also participate in many clean-ups at this park throughout the year to help maintain its natural beauty.


McFarland Park is another great park nearby that has a nice disc golf course. The park itself runs alongside the Tennessee River and home to many events year-round.


Is hiking more your speed?  There is a really great place for hiking in the Tuscumbia area called Cane Creek Canyon Preserve. Cane Creek Canyon Nature Preserve is a 700-acre private nature preserve that has over 15 miles of hiking trails and even a waterfall! This spot is definitely a staff favorite!


Looking for a longer adventure? We recommend hitting the road and trails to the Natchez Trace Parkway. Florence’s own, Jennifer Melhiser, talks about new family adventures on the parkway during last year’s quarantine. Check out her blog as she tells us the best places to go on this scenic getaway!


Some of our favorite things at AO

My current favorite brand is Vuori mainly because of the quality and feel of their products. Another staff favorite brand is Free Fly because of the feel of their clothing. Have you felt them? They are SO soft! Patagonia is another huge favorite at the Florence store because of their awesome quality. Also, I must mention Hoka One One shoes. These shoes have absolutely fixed and saved my feet!
-Carla Mann


What is your favorite way to enjoy the outdoors?

Our team here in Florence has many different ways to enjoy the outdoors, hiking, camping, mountain biking, kayaking, and there are lots of great areas around Florence to do all of these fun things.



We want everyone to enjoy the outdoors, and we work to build loyalty one connection at a time. Visit one of our stores or take advantage of our shipping or curbside pickup! #BeOutdoors