Business Spotlight: Schofield’s Ace Hardware
First Bank client Schofield’s Ace Hardware is much more than a hardware store. On top of the paint, plumbing, and electrical equipment, they carry sporting goods, hunting and fishing clothing, outdoor accessories, shoes, and boots.
Operating in Florence, South Carolina since 1918, customer service continues to be the main focus of this local establishment.
Ron Lyles: My name is Ron Lyles. I’m the owner of Schofield’s here in Florence, South Carolina.
Ron Lyles: Schofield’s is a large Ace Hardware and sporting goods store that’s been in business almost 100 years. We sell clothing to hardware to paint to about anything you can imagine.
Ron Lyles: Schofield’s began in 1918 as a local business in Florence. My father bought the business in the mid-70s. Of course, even when my father first started the business, we were kind of an institution in town because Schofield’s had been in business so long even at that point.
Ron Lyles: We became an Ace Hardware store in the early 80s and my brother and I came on, as part of the family business, in the late 80s after we graduated from college.
Ron Lyles: Florence is not a tremendous growth area but it’s a steady growth area and has been that way for 25-30 years. You’ll find every national chain here, restaurant and retail. We’re close but far enough away from Charleston and Columbia, Myrtle Beach, Charlotte markets. We’re kind of all by ourselves and the store is well known in the local Florence area and the surrounding areas. When you spend a dollar here, it stays in the community 100%. It helps to have that reputation, I think, even though you have all these big boxes [big box retailers] coming in.
Ron Lyles: The business has changed 180 degrees about 6 times. So it’s gone back and forth, back and forth. Our merchandise selection has changed over and over and over again. We’re trying to build niches in different types of merchandise. The internet and cell phones have just changed how people shop.
Ron Lyles: Our principles never change. The fact that our Number 1 priority 25-30 years ago was customer service…it still is today. Those principles don’t change but 80% of the store, 80% of the merchandise, and 80% of the customers have changed a lot.