CORINTH—In 1918, when the U.S. was still involved in World War I, Biggers Hardware was founded in downtown Corinth by J.D. Biggers. His ten children each inherited a tenth of the store that has been run continuously by a family member ever since its founding 94 years ago.
“I had five great uncles who worked here, my father worked here, and a couple of second cousins worked here,” said Lon Taylor, who represents the fourth generation of Biggers’ descendants to operate the hardware store. “And we are getting toward the end of the family involvement in the store. We have only one cousin left. We’ve all gotten old. Most of the younger generation are professionals. We have educated them all nicely. They are CPAs, doctors and lawyers. One second cousin is a federal judge in Oxford.”
Biggers Hardware has stayed put decade after decade, even during the time when a lot of businesses left the downtown.
“We stayed downtown when everyone went out on the roads,” Taylor said. “We kept downtown viable and now we have a great downtown. You see so many downtowns in Mississippi that have completely evaporated. Our downtown is wonderful.”
Biggers is the heart of downtown, but its reach goes a lot farther. The store that sells a lot of appliances, in addition to nuts, bolts, screws and all the other things you think of getting from a hardware stores, has a sales territory within a 50- to 100-mile radius of Corinth. They do a lot of sales, particularly of appliances, at Pickwick Lake and even as far away as outlying Memphis.
What is the secret to their success?
“My family has always been real intent on taking care of the customer, trying to keep the customer happy,” said Taylor. “That has probably led to more success than anything.”
For the past 50 years, Biggers has been associated with Ace Hardware. Taylor said the buying power of being an Ace Hardware affiliate has allowed them to be competitive with the likes of Lowe’s and Home Depot.
Taylor, who usually works seven days a week, plans to semi retire in about a year.
“I will just let it continue on its own,” he said. “We have great employees. Most of them have been here 30 years plus. All are experienced. The store will continue.”
Gary Chandler, president of the Corinth Alliance, said Biggers Hardware is a pillar not only of their downtown, but the city of Corinth as a whole.
“It is the kind of place that if they don’t have it, you can’t find it,” Chandler said. “They go above and beyond the call of duty. They are an absolute institution in this community. Not that long ago our downtown wasn’t as busy as it is today. Through all those years, one of the ongoing assets of downtown has been Biggers. They are always willing to lend a helping hand whether it is a festival or other events the community is putting on. They are always there. Our chamber of commerce appreciates their community minded spirit.”
Biggers serves as an anchor for an historic downtown that is very vibrant.
“It is difficult to find a parking place downtown during the day,” Chandler said. “That is a problem a lot of towns would like to have.”
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