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Thrifty Mart / Food Town / Food Lion #52 / Book Warehouse / Spherion / UPS Call Center, 1313 Bush River Road: 1980s etc   6 comments

Posted at 12:19 am in Uncategorized






I've featured this building on Bush River Road across from the new(ish) Wal-Mart, before, but erroneously in a post I still have to sit down and clean up and correct eventually. Hopefully this post will be more correct.

This building was a Food Lion grocery until the 1990s. I'm not sure when it closed, but it is not listed in the February 1997 phonebook, so I'm guessing the mid-1990s. According to commenter Saturday's Child, it was built as a Thrifty Mart around 1969 and then became a Food Town, staying with that chain when they switched their name to Food Lion.

After Food Lion left, it was a UPS call center and an operation called Spherion, possibly not in that order.

For the last several years it has been vacant, but as commenter William points out, the building is now being rehabilitated to become an AutoZone.

(Hat tip to commenter William)

Written by ted on June 10th, 2014

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6 Responses to 'Thrifty Mart / Food Town / Food Lion #52 / Book Warehouse / Spherion / UPS Call Center, 1313 Bush River Road: 1980s etc'

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  1. I am not sure Food Lion was there in the mid 1990s, I think it closed in the mid to late 1980s. After the grocery store closed, I remember this being one of the first “Book Warehouses” and I pretty sure that was while I was in HS and I graduated in ‘88. Glad to see AutoZone is coming in to this location, that stretch of Bush River needs all the help it can get. Now if they could just get something at the old Key West and El Chico locations down the street.


    10 Jun 14 at 10:44 am

  2. In the latter half of the 70s, I was in high school. My mother taught at my school (Columbia High), and there was a teacher in her department named Mrs. Swing. Mrs. Swing's brother (one of them, anyway) was the founder of Food Lion! One evening, she was talking to her brother on the phone, and mentioned that she had found some old FL stocks while cleaning out a desk. Her brother said that he'd been wondering when she would mention those stocks, since she was now a millionaire! She retired soon after.

    Mike R.

    10 Jun 14 at 6:16 pm

  3. I have to agree with Ed that this store closed in the 80's. I was asking my dad about it and that is what he said as well. He could not recall the names of the stores that the building had been in the past. Thanks to whoever found out the names of the stores. My mom said she remembered that it was some kind of discount store also. She could be mistaken on the location. She said it did not last very long. If you look at the back of the front facade it is all different colors almost reminds me of like a circus. Today I was by this location and they have started to dig up the parking lot and have taken off part of the facade on the far right hand side if your looking at the building from Bush River Rd. I found the plans for this building on the internet and it looks like about 4000 sqft will be used for the retail store and the rest will be a wholesale distribution center. This will be no doubt a vast improvement for this area of town. I also contacted the GC and he said that the opening date is around Aug 24th. I also asked about the landscaping since that lot really does not have any to speak of and he said that there would be plenty of trees and bushes and some grass.


    10 Jun 14 at 7:08 pm

  4. OK, I'll add book warehouse and change the date to the 80s. I wouldn't have guessed that early as this stretch of road was still pretty decent then as I recall, and Bush River Mall was still going.


    10 Jun 14 at 10:29 pm

  5. I know it definitely wasn't a Food Lion back in 1989. I moved to this area a few months before Hugo hit in '89, and it wasn't a Food Lion then. I'm not entirely sure what it was, but the only Food Lion I remember in the immediate area of Bush River/St. Andrews was the one on St. Andrews Road, right next to the dollar theater.


    11 Jun 14 at 7:21 pm

  6. This was the UPS billing site from 1996 until around 2007. We had both UPS and Spherion temp employees at the site. In 2006 we had space become available at our COD site on the Platt Springs Rd side of the airport so we move the operations there. That site, on Enterprise Parkway in West Columbia was also closed and I believe it's now owned by Palmetto Armory.

    Brandon Brown

    3 Aug 22 at 10:03 am

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