The End of An Era: Mom & Pop hardware store slated to close

The End of An Era: Mom & Pop hardware store slated to close

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - After 49 years on Two Notch Road in Columbia, Young’s True Value Hardware will close its doors for good August 14.

Owner Kenny Rowlands said it’s simply the right time.

He took ownership of the business in 1979 and quickly carved out a niche, building a reputation for stocking hard to find items and servicing equipment and machinery of all kinds.

“We do a lot of things nobody else even knows how to do,” Rowlands explained.

Inside the eclectic hardware store, you can readily find a wide collection of tools, paint, hammers, and hoses. You’ll also find something more difficult to spot these days: Specialized knowledge, and a personal touch.

“That’s what’s kept us around so long,” Rowlands said.

Perhaps that’s also why the store is profitable even while it faces competition from larger home improvement stores in the area.

“Within a five-mile radius, we have three Lowe’s, two Home Depots, Tractor Supply, Harbor Freight. You name it. We’ve been competitive with ‘em,” Rowlands said.

But now after four decades of fighting, Rowlands is ready to walk away.

“There’s been a lot of frustrations here in Richland County trying to run a business,” Rowlands confessed. “I’ve beat my head against the wall sometimes with the county.”

His store has been robbed before, his truck was broken into twice, and he said enough is enough. Rowlands said he will leave on his own terms -- the way he’s always wanted.

“My phrase was I’m gonna walk out. I’m not gonna get carried out,” Rowlands said.

Now, Rowlands is counting down the days until retirement.

“My wife says I’m going to have to learn how to cook,” he said. “We’ve got four grandchildren that need to be spoiled some more. I’m gonna try to play golf, but I’ve never been good at that so I don’t expect that to change.”

The last day of business at Young’s Hardware is set for the August 14. Any remaining items on the shelves will be auctioned off on August 17.

Rowlands said the new owner of the property plans to build a Circle K gas station at that location.

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