Author Topic: 3 Vets owner uncovers vintage treasures lost for decades  (Read 989 times)

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3 Vets owner uncovers vintage treasures lost for decades
« on: November 27, 2017, 13:01:47 »
From CBC:

'It's kind of embarrassing': 3 Vets owner uncovers vintage treasures lost for decades
60-year-old boots and RCAF uniforms some of surprising finds deep in bowels of warehouse

Jerry Wolfman knew that closing 3 Vets wasn't going to be a simple undertaking. After all, the iconic Vancouver outdoors and surplus store has been in operation for 70 years.

But Wolfman didn't expect the ordeal would also turn into a kind of archeological dig, sparking the discovery of all kinds of surprising and vintage goods that should have been sold decades ago.

"It's kind of embarrassing," said Wolfman. "Now that we're getting into the bowels of our warehouse I'm finding things that were delivered in the 1970s and '80s — some with the shipping tags still on."

One of the best finds so far is a cache of military dress boots which customers have been going gaga over.
Hipster approved

"I used to supply those to the military and police years ago, and now the hipsters — they can't get their hands on them quick enough," he laughed. "I've had them for 30 or 40 years I'm ashamed to say."

He's also uncovered a quantity of blue wool Canadian Air Force dress uniforms still in the original 1950s boxes, along with a box of full length Miller & Gabbe army raincoats with production labels from the '50s and '60s.

Wolfman believes both were probably bought by the store in a Canadian government surplus sale 40 years ago.

The raincoats have been priced to sell at $14 each. Wolfman says he could probably ask a lot more but it's not the 3 Vets way.
Vintage, or just old?

"If I had a boutique in Gastown or Yaletown they would be worth hundreds as a vintage coat, but here it's just an item that has aged," he said.

"We're just going to liquidate what we have and give more of a discount than we normally do. That's the way we are wired."

Wolfman admits his hoarder impulses and complete absence of a computerized inventory system have made keeping track of merchandise over the years a little tricky.

"We always just bought when we thought there was something of worth. A lot of the time the product just got buried behind other things," he explained.

The store was founded in 1947 by Wolfman's father, uncle and a friend — all veterans of the Second World War. Over the years, the business moved away from its army surplus roots, and became better known for selling off-label outdoors and camping gear.
Final days

Hefty increases in property taxes on the Yukon Street fixture are part of the reason Jerry and brother Keith decided to sell to a developer earlier this year.

The store was originally slated to close at the end of October but the purchaser asked for an extension, moving the final date back to Dec. 8.

"A lot of people have been yelling at us that we have such an opportunity to bring in...hundreds of thousands of dollars in goods to take advantage of this massive closeout sale," said Wolfman.

"But we've never been ones to push goods people don't need down their throats. So we're not going to do that."

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Re: 3 Vets owner uncovers vintage treasures lost for decades
« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2017, 13:07:36 »
Perhaps we can pickup some boots and uniforms for the lads