Thursday, February 02, 2006

Alas poor Gowings! I knew him, Mark Foy's

Okay... so I didn't know Mark Foy. Nor Horatio. Nor Yorick. But I certainly knew Gowings. And now he is gone. He was certainly a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy. But where is the well-dressed gentleman to shop now? Granted, in today's society he is possibly meant to turn up in his underpants alone; but I want more than that. Where is the gentleman's department store of tomorrow? Where will I find my cut-throat razor, fine wool suit, akubra hat, moustache wax and hacky-sack all in the once place ever again?

I know they had a slighty eclectic collection of goods, but honestly it was the best place a man could go if he wanted to dress well. Or shop for gifts. Camping gear in the same store as beer branded t-shirts along side cufflinks? Surely that was genius! Where did it all go wrong? Why no bail-out package for something which was somewhat of an icon of Sydney? They lasted over 130 years and always seemed to have enough people through the doors. Was there serious mis-management? Fishing through their fiances, the executive director was on $250,000 in the year they lost $13 million dollars (2004).

Still... I need an answer to my question. Where do I shop for these things now? Sure I can browse on the internet for these goods and order them in, but it's just not the same. Trying on suits or browsing for random gifts doesn't work so well over the web. At least not for me. And certianly not for the range of things they had.

I did go in there twice in their last few weeks. It was depressing to see a once great store fall from grace. I was watching as the seething mass of vultures picked through the remains whilst a lone gentleman working at the store was attempting to maintain some decorum. "No, the hats are not on sale". "Would you like to try that on?". "I can help you find your size". He looked like he had worked there for the past fifty years. I wonder what he is doing now.

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