Phillips earned his retirement

Published 12:13 pm Saturday, March 2, 2013

Hats off to Billy Phillips, who endured the good and bad times, yet continued to operate his downtown Franklin men’s clothing store for 51 years.

A young 75, Phillips is now retiring and closing Billy Phillips Ltd. at 103 N. Main St. His last day will be Saturday, March 30.

Phillips stayed in business despite the devastating 1999 flood from Hurricane Floyd, health issues, and economic ups and downs. During those years, he adapted to provide the community with a need — not only men’s clothing, but tuxedo rentals for proms and weddings.

He once provided 250 tuxes in one week and tuxes for 17 weddings during another week.

And how things changed over the years. Phillips noted that when he first opened, postage stamps cost 4 cents, heating oil was 14 cents a gallon and gasoline was 20 cents a gallon. He paid workers 85 cents an hour.

Over the years, he hired the community’s young men to work in his store and always supported charitable organizations.

It will be sad to see him close, but we think he’s earned the right to enjoy his retirement.

Good luck Billy!