One of the oldest shopping centers on the Grand Strand is getting a fresh new look after undergoing a recent change in ownership.
The Hammock Shops of Pawleys Island, which opened in 1938 and has been growing in size ever since, was sold by longtime owner South Neck Investors to the Charleston-based Truluck Industries in 2014. The historic shopping center is already seeing some of the benefits of the deal, thanks in part to the family connection with Truluck Industries.
"My wife was born and raised in Pawleys Island, and she has many fond memories of the times she spent working and shopping at the Hammock Shops," says Brad Truluck, who has assumed stewardship of the property, along with his brother Chuck. "I understand the historic significance of the Hammock Shops and the role it has played through the years."
Southern comfort at Hammock Shops — Photo courtesy of Hammock Shops of Pawleys Island
The history of the Hammock Shops actually dates back to 1889, when a local fishing boat captain invented the most comfortable version of a rope-strung recliner of its time. As the popularity of the handmade Pawleys Island hammock grew and the Lachicotte family could no longer keep pace with production, The Original Hammock Shop was opened in 1938.
The shop was much more than just a hammock outlet; it was like a general store for residents of the tiny town of Pawleys Island. It quickly became the best place in town to pick up some groceries, fresh catches of fish, crabs, shrimp and oysters and everything from artwork to budding palmetto trees and flowers.
Hammock Shops has gradually grown over time, with more than 20 outlet stores selling everything from clothing and jewelry to wine and birdhouses currently in operation on the eight-acre property.
The old hammock shop, where workers weaved the town's chief export by hand, still stands on the grounds, and a lovely courtyard is perfect for dining, having drinks or just relaxing in the shade of the old, twisting live oaks draped with Spanish moss.
The scenic setting has seen the addition of even more natural beauty since the transaction. Although Truluck Industries has vowed to keep Hammock Shops as close to its historic roots as possible, the group has already gone about the task of sprucing up the place, including the addition of landscaping in the courtyard and throughout the property, as well as new store windows, fresh coats of paint on the buildings, the paving of the gravel parking lot and all-around general cleanup.
Shoppers can also expect to see the addition of new stores and special events in the future.