True Value closing after 62 years in downtown Aiken

Landon Stamper, Aiken Standard, S.C.
·2 min read

Apr. 5—After operating in downtown Aiken for over 60 years, True Value Hardware and Appliance will soon be closing its doors.

The store's owners, Lyanne and Det Haislip, said in a letter the decision was made due to their desire to retire and move to the next chapter of their lives.

The store, located at 121 Laurens St. S.W., is closed through Wednesday but will reopen Thursday for a retirement sale. The store said all special orders will be honored and will remain open until all customers have been satisfied.

True Value is open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For questions or concerns, residents can call the store at 803-648-8542.

The Haislips said in the letter that the decision was made with "mixed emotions" and that they have been considering the decision for almost two years, noting it has been a difficult one as the store is doing very well.

"A full service hardware and appliance store requires the business to be open six days a week, which limits our family and relaxation time, with few exceptions, to Sunday," the letter stated. "For the next chapter of our lives, we would like to spend more time with family and friends and enjoy retirement."

True Value was started by James William "Bill" Franklin, a World War II veteran, who graduated from the University of South Carolina with help from the GI Bill. He and his wife, Dody, moved to Aiken in 1949; and he spent 28 years as an accountant at the Savannah River Plant.

Franklin started Economy Auto in 1959 and then the store moved downtown in 1960, eventually occupying 121 Laurens St. S.W. Franklin later changed his store to associate with Otasco and then with True Value.

Franklin's daughter, Lyanne Franklin Haislip, married her husband, Det, in 1976, and Det began working at True Value. The Haislips had their first child, Kaminer, in 1980, and their second, Wylie, in 1981. Lyanne, a teacher, took a 10-year leave from that profession to help part-time at the store.

Wylie now assists his father in the management of True Value.

The business was turned over to Det in 1997, and it has grown since that time, while winning several awards including the Aiken Standard's Choice Award in hardware and appliance each year from 2017-2020. In 2013, the Haislips received a preservation award from the Historic Aiken Foundation for renovating the façade of the store.