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The Factory Outlets, 633 12th Street (etc): early 2000s   18 comments

Posted at 11:49 pm in closing

Shop at the Brown Sign With the Sewing Machine in the Corner!

At one time, South Carolina was a major player in the textile field, and I always assumed that these "factory outlet" stores scattered across the state had some South Carolina "factory" behind them, though it was never spelled out in the long running series of radio ads that always included the tag line about the sign.

I never went into one myself, but they were a feature in various shopping trips made by my female relatives. I can't remember all the locations now, but for sure there were Columbia (actually West Columbia / Triangle City), Salley and Surfside Beach.

The first pictures are of the old Surfside Beach location. This storefront (briefly an alteration shop) is at 1511 Highway 17 North (on the east side of US-17 Business between Inlet Square Mall and SC-544). Since these pictures were taken, they have finally gotten around to taking down the brown sign.

The final picture is of the West Columbia location in Triangle City. Their sign is long gone, and the location now seems to be an eyeglass botique.

I don't know exactly what happened to The Factory Outlets. My presumption is that "the factory" closed during the decline of the domestic textile industry, but that's just a guess. At any rate, while the 12th Street location was in the 1998 phonebook, I don't think it (or they) lasted much later than that.

UPDATE 25 Sep 2010 -- Well, I found the Darlington Factory Outlet (1486 Harry Byrd Highway -- almost across the street from the racetrack), and it looks like you can still get women's fashions there!

(also added the street address for the Surfside Beach location)

UPDATE 10 July 2020: Added some tags. Also adding the map icon for the 12th street location.

18 Responses to 'The Factory Outlets, 633 12th Street (etc): early 2000s'

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  1. I think they all closed in short order around 2002, when the "factory" (Salley Manufacturing in Salley) closed.


    17 Mar 10 at 8:21 am

  2. The antique mall on Broad River Road was a Factory Outlet.


    17 Mar 10 at 8:44 am

  3. There was also one in Pontiac and one in Lexington, but I don't know the exact locations.


    17 Mar 10 at 9:21 am

  4. Add Rock Hill, SC and North Myrtle Beach (Ocean Drive) to the list.


    17 Mar 10 at 10:30 pm

  5. I have not thought of "the brown sign with the sewing machine in the corner" in a lot of years.

    Here's a link to a Rock Hill Herald article from 1981 about the stores and Salley Manufacturing, might be interesting to anyone viewing these comments.,5757750


    18 Mar 10 at 10:47 am

  6. Thanks Kevin!

    That's a very interesting article. So, as of 1981, they had: Salley, Barnwell, St. Matthews, Saluda, Hampton, Bamburg, St. George, Hardeeville, Andrews, Lamar, Pontiac, Lexington, Surfside, Williamston & Ocean Drive. I think that was a very different location strategy than what you might see today. Those all were fairly small places, a couple of those towns I can't even place on the map (and I'm not sure I've even *heard* of Williamston).


    18 Mar 10 at 3:48 pm

  7. Come on, ted. Williamston is close to one of the Pelzers, but I don't which, East Pelzer or West Pelzer! OK, not that close, but somewhere up closer to Anderson. It is the hometown of the infamous Derek Watson of USC fame.


    25 Sep 10 at 1:42 am

  8. I thought Pelzer was a type of beer..

    (I did find the Darlington one though -- see above).


    25 Sep 10 at 2:03 am

  9. That's pretty funny, on both counts. The Salley Factory outlets on Broad River was running a promotion around 1992: buy a certain dollar amount of ladie's garments (not the variety available in Darlington today) and receive a free CELL PHONE. Our first, a lovely "California Phone" brick, as we never owned a "baggie", the piece of luggage with a handset coming out of it. But looking back, the brick was heavy, and huge. My wife had to unscrew the antenna to get it in her purse.


    25 Sep 10 at 9:41 pm

  10. The one in Pontiac was on the corner of Two Notch and Bookman Rds. The building is still there in front of the skating rink and I think it's an Allstate now.


    27 Sep 10 at 12:44 am

  11. Wow! I was cleaning out some old things and ran across a $5.00 gift certificate fo the Factory Outlet. But of course....out of business now.


    19 Oct 11 at 1:28 pm

  12. Well, your consolation is owning a little piece of history, I guess..


    19 Oct 11 at 1:45 pm

  13. It is now City Pickers, a pretty good, and reasonably priced, antique store.


    11 Dec 13 at 11:08 am

  14. I live in Salley. The old sewing factories are still here, empty of course but you can still smell the iron press and fabric softener's when you walk through them. There was also an outlet store here in town. That closed when the factories closed. My parents, grandparents and great grandparents where all employeed by the sewing factory as we like to call it here. It brought many jobs to our small little town as well as our neighboring town of Perry and Wagener. Walking through the old buildings and business office is kind of humbling, thinking of how much sweat, tears and hours were worked in these building to provide for families here. My parents were the last of the dying breed to work there, up until it's closing in the early 90's. This is when Penny's, J.B. Whites, Sears started having there clothing lines made over seas. To this day, if you walk through any of these many building time clocks are still on the wall, along with some time cards and you can find remnants of buttons, zippers and shipping labels or notes with names of people of the town here.


    21 Apr 17 at 11:03 pm

  15. I may be remembering this wrong but I would swear there was one in the rural areas outside of Spartanburg. Of course that would have been in the mid-seventies.


    25 Jul 17 at 5:55 pm

  16. There was one of these factory outlet stores in Andrews, SC. Andrews was also home to Oneta (Oneida) Knitting Mills factory. I always thought they made long John’s and pajamas there though. I bought a few outfits from that factory outlet store in middle school and high school.

    C. Hill

    25 Apr 22 at 11:40 pm

  17. There was one of these factory outlet stores in Andrews, SC. Andrews, SC was also home to Oneta (Oneida) Knitting Mills factory. I always thought they made long John’s, union suits and pajamas there though. I bought a few outfits from that factory outlet store in middle school and high school.

    C. Hill

    25 Apr 22 at 11:42 pm

  18. During the mid 1970's I did their radio commercials in Charleston. I still remember the list that ended each spot: "Barnwell, Hampton, Salley, Saluda, St George, St Matthews, and the Corner Factory Outlet in Bamberg. Look for the little sewing machine in the corner."


    30 Jan 24 at 5:25 pm

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