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True Value offers variety with hometown atmosphere for Pembroke community

By Terri Rorke
Photo Editor

For nearly 50 years, Pembroke True Value Hardware store stood on a cozy corner on West Third Street.            

Owner Curt Locklear realized that parking was a problem and eventually decided to combine his lumberyard and hardware store into the Pembroke True Value Hardware and Home Center, which opened Sept. 14.

Pembroke True Value Owner Curt Locklear (seated) talks to one of his customers Oct. 10. He said he opened the new expanded store to provide his customers with a convenient shopping experience.

Photo by Terri Rorke
Pembroke True Value Owner Curt Locklear (seated) talks to one of his customers Oct. 10. He said he opened the new expanded store to provide his customers with a convenient shopping experience.

The store, on the outskirts of town on Highway 711, expanded about every department and offers a variety of hardware and building supplies, a JustAsk Rental department, clothing and more.            

“I’m offering a little bit of supplies plus a lot more convenience,” said Pembroke native Curt Locklear.

He said he wanted to provide the Pembroke community with a sufficient store. “Since we’re the only one, I think we ought to do it better,” he said.            

At 82, Locklear said, “I like to work better than anything I know of.”

In fact, Locklear works 10-hour days with his three sons Lindsey, Milton and Steven, who are all managers and have worked in the store for about 20 years, Locklear said.

“There’s nothing else that I want,” Locklear said.     “I tried teaching, didn’t like it. I tried insurance, it was all right. Then tried hardware and I enjoyed it, and I still enjoy it,” he added.            

When customers enter True Value, they often exchange greetings with Locklear.

“The daily contact with people is what I like about it most. That must be it. Without the people I wouldn’t make it. Gotta have the contact,” he said.                             

Locklear said he likes to sit in his chair in the center of the store and watch all the activity.            

Since the new store is spacious, Locklear’s son, Lindsey Locklear, said there is a lot more room for shoppers to navigate through all the departments.
           
“In the old store, you couldn’t shop there. For the most part, we had to go find it for you. Here you can come in and take your shopping cart and [browse] and look at prices and shop. The last store was just packed,” he said.            

Lindsey Locklear said even though the old store had its share of inconveniences, he wants to keep the same environment in the new store.

“The old store was a classic hardware store,” he said.            

“It just had a nice ambiance about it. Fellows would come in the morning and drink coffee and talk. We are going to try to keep most of that hardware feel here. We don’t want to be like a Lowe’s.

We don’t want to be like a Wal-Mart. We want this to feel hometownish and have that kind of atmosphere,” he added.

Lindsey Locklear said he knew all the customers in the old store and is now drawing new customers from places like Lumberton.            

Curt Locklear said he is in the process of turning the business over to his sons, but he will still come and sit in his chair.

                                 
“Daddy will work to his last day. It’s not so much about money. It is about running a business how a business should be run,” Lindsey Locklear said.

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Updated: Wednesday, December 13, 2006
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