If there is an anchor store on North Main Street, it is arguably David Gibson’s twin enterprises, Fulton Computer Store and Fulton Book Store.
As of Friday, those stores will be empty and Gibson, a founder of the city’s Business Improvement District and a longtime proponent of the city and its downtown, will be moving on.
Gibson said his computer business, which once employed 12 people, suffered significant losses since last summer when gasoline prices began rising. The business now employs four and Gibson said he had been forced to file for bankruptcy protection.
The bookstore, which he accommodated by remodeling his store in recent years, is still profitable, Gibson said.
Word of the closing spread quickly. With all computer equipment selling at cost, Gibson said, by late Monday afternoon every component in stock had been sold and carried out the door.
Books are selling for 40 percent off marked prices.
“I’m certainly saddened to see any business leave or have to close its doors,” said Wally Hart, president of the Fulton County Chamber of Commerce. He said it is even more difficult to see it happen to Gibson, a merchant Hart called a “mainstay who has brought a huge amount of business to downtown and the county.”
With individuals turning more and more to online sources to buy computer equipment, Hart said, Fulton Computer Co. could not compete.
Gibson said businesses are continuing to buy equipment, but sales to individuals have dropped off sharply.
“It’s tough, it’s really tough and I just can’t continue,” he said.
Gibson said he does not blame the demise of his business on downtown Gloversville. He said there is a possibility that he could reopen at some future time at new location, but emphasized that location would be somewhere on Main Street.
Gibson opened his computer business in 1989 and has been on North Main Street since 1994. Beyond the market conditions, Gibson said, it has been an uphill battle the last eight years trying to recover from the loss of about $45,000 in equipment that he said was stolen by former employees. Gibson said the equipment was being sold on eBay, but police told him that without serial numbers they could not arrest the individuals.
Though Gibson could eventually reopen a business, he said at age 57 he has applied to join the Peace Corps.
Gibson owns his building, but its fate will be decided in bankruptcy court, he said.
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Categories: Schenectady County