ST. MARYS, Kan. (WIBW) - For nearly half a century, people around the town of St. Marys have gone to one place for their outdoor and work gear.
The era will soon end. St. Marys Surplus Sales is closing its doors after 47 years in business.
Manager Don Wiltz says he was six-years old when his mother started working for the store's original owner. His family bought the business in 1975. He started working at the store in high school and college and, once he had his degree, simply stayed.
The business was located in downtown St. Marys for most of its existence, but then the city condemned the old, rock building in which it was located. The store moved to Santa Cruz Plaza, a new shopping center on the east end of town. However, Wiltz says, the added expense of rent made it no longer profitable.
The store sells military surplus and men's outdoor and workwear. Wiltz says many loyal customers have stopped in the past several weeks, buying coveralls and work gloves - and saying goodbye. Wiltz believes the store's closing will be a loss for the community.
Wiltz had planned for Saturday, June 9 to be the store's final day in business. However, he says, with inventory remaining, he will be open at least another two weeks. Merchandise is currently 50 percent off.