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Coronavirus Heroes: Hardware store owner Det Haislip helps customers, downtown neighbors

Det Haislip 1

Det Haislip, owner of the True Value Hardware in downtown Aiken, not only is helping his customers fight boredom during the coronavirus pandemic but is also helping his fellow business owners by lending them furniture as the slowly reopen for business.

True Value Hardware owner Det Haislip has tried to do anything he can to assist his fellow Aikenites with their home or business endeavors during the coronavirus pandemic – and not just by selling rakes and grills.

With more people sticking to home, Haislip and his five-person staff have been assisting home-stayers with finding the right tools they need for long-overdue projects in and outside their homes.

"Since people are staying in, they're looking for things to do," Haislip said. "We get a lot of folks who come in and say things like, 'I want to do some gardening,' so we'll recommend them [what they need] ... just numerous things to help them out."

While Haislip was able to turn a profit during the last several weeks on tools and household appliances, he also generously lent refrigerators to customers as they await models that are not in stock.

His greatest feat thus far has come from lending tables and chairs from his shop to surrounding downtown Aiken restaurants during their soft reopenings – a gesture he said he would have done whether there had been a pandemic or not.

"We're cheering them on," he said. "We've offered to place tables outside of our [own] building to allow for takeout people to have a place to sit ... we're not in competition with them. We're all in this together." 

The True Value staff, Haislip said, has worked tirelessly to meet customers' needs by doubling down on their deliveries and keeping their appointment times to a tee, a practice that gained the business the patronage of areas such as Woodside Plantation and Cedar Creek.

"We try to treat people [how] we want to be treated, in or out of the store, or in customer's homes," he said. "The customer is always the No. 1 priority whenever we go out, and we want them to feel like they've been served by professionals." 

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