Todd & Moore celebrates 70 years in Columbia
It was Monday, August 7, 1944. World War II raged in Europe, as the Germans fought to repel the Allied invasion, which had come just two months and a day before. On the home front, IBM unveiled the first program-controlled calculator, and in Columbia, a locally owned business — then called Todd’s Sporting Goods — opened its doors for the first time.
Seven decades later, the war is long over, and devices worn on a wrist can accomplish more than the makers of that calculator could have imagined. Much of the world has changed, but that little family business remains. It added a partner in 1947 and moved to Huger Street in 1969, but Todd & Moore served customers Thursday just as it did that Monday so far in the past.
The store celebrated the occasion with a sale, door prizes and a reunion of former employees, with its customers invited as always to join in the party. Gov. Nikki Haley and U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson sent letters of congratulation to mark the big day.
Co-owner G Moore said the secret to the store’s longevity and success is not really a secret at all.
“I think it’s about the friendships,” he said. “We have the greatest customers in the world. I’ve seen many fathers bring in their sons or daughters and tell me their fathers brought them in, and their grandfathers brought their fathers.”
Moore presided over an anniversary ceremony at noon. He thanked the employees and customers, past and present, as well as his own family members and those of his partner, Chuck Todd, who joined him for the ceremony. The proceedings were held on the landing at the rear of the store, where free coffee is always available and where coaches like the legendary Frank McGuire once gathered to exchange film and discuss sports.
The day’s other focus was the retirement of a man who has been with Todd & Moore for nearly its entire run.
“We’re celebrating losing one of our all-stars,” Moore said, “For a team he’s helped make the best in the state for his 55 years.”
Jim Moore, now 70, started at the store as a teenager. Haley and Wilson each sent letters recognizing his accomplishments as well, and the co-owners presented him with a baseball bat and other gifts.