1337 Main Street
Columbia, SC 29201

FAMILIES: Levinson; Friedman

The heyday of Columbia’s Jewish merchants came in the mid-20th century, with expansion into the suburbs and the development of shopping malls. Arnold Levinson (1927-2014), who learned the clothing business from working in The Leader, his parents’ dry goods store in Barnwell, opened his own store, Britton’s, at 1337 Main Street in 1955. With a Tudor Revival façade of faux half-timbering and stucco, the building stood out from its neighbors. Part of Brittons’ success, remarked Arnold’s wife, Faye (1927-2015), stemmed from Arnold’s “love of fabric.” Thanks to this passion for fashion and his willingness to take risks, Arnold successfully expanded his establishment to include four locations: Dutch Square, Richland Mall, Columbia Mall and Main Street. Today, Arnold’s daughter, Stacy, operates Brittons at 2818 Devine Street, “where first impressions are lasting impressions.”

Above: Storefront display at Brittons, 1955. Image courtesy Stacey Levinson

The Jewish Merchant Project is supported by the generosity of the Norman and Gerry Sue Arnold Foundation and the Stanley B. Farbstein Endowment at the Coastal Community Foundation. Longtime members of the JHSSC, Mr. Arnold obm, a merchant himself, and Mr. Farbstein obm were both children of South Carolina Jewish merchants.

JHSSC Office
Sylvia Vlosky Yaschik Jewish Studies Center
96 Wentworth Street
Charleston, SC 29424
Phone: 843 953 3918