Wednesday, October 17, 2007

General Surplus Closes: Dayton becomes blander.

Dayton Most Metro and For the Love of Dayton both are blogging on the impending demise of General Surplus (apparently renamed GS Outfitters), putting a positive spin on the news due to the property being redeveloped for non-retail use.

I guess my feeling is if you dont't use it you lose it. This applies to retail as well as bars and restuarants.

I can't say that I was a regular at General Surplus as I'm not an outdoorsman. I did shop there for shoes, galoshes, and other things, mainly clothes, including some funky foreign military surplus items (like a Dutch army field coat and Bundeswehr camo sweater with that nifty BRD tricolor arm patch), gloves, hats, and so forth...more their military surplus side. And they had some funky military surplus (including greatcoats from a DDR border guard regiment).

One of the last things I bought at General Surplus was a great heavy wool sweater, my favorite gear for walking around Dayton in cold weather taking pix. I got a flannel shirt there, too.

And the place seemed good for hiking and backpacking gear.

So its pretty melancholy to see General Surplus disappear. Like the late, lamented Wilkies it was one of the Daytonesque things about Dayton.


Anonymous said...

I hate Monday morning quarterbacking, but I can't resist: retailers downtown stripped their stores of any appealing quality that would set them apart from their suburban competition. GS Outfitters as a store is pretty bland at the moment, especially as compared to the 80s, when surplus ruled the first floor and they were packed with inventory. Racks of Columbia outerwear aren't going to differentiate your store from Dick's or even Beerman's. Wilkie's in its later years had all the charm of a 7-11. I hope that retailers like Basically British succeed, not just because of their respective niches (and web retailing activity), but because their stores look great.

Sidney Dalton said...

I worked there in 1960-61 for the Polacheks, Adolph and Beatrice. Henry Reichard was the store manager then. I remember the Saturday morning live radio broadcasts from the store with Jack Wymer on WING. Didn't make much money but still have some great memories of my time there and the friends I made, Paul Yancey, Steve Smith, Nick, and Ted who managed the fishing dept. Still gets a little nostalgic as I drive by there frequently, 60+ years later. Sid Dalton