Discount started as a small local store on the east side of Utica, on James St. This was in the 70s and early 80s. It was a small store, but a virtual paradise for a then young modeler (me). They carried all those exotic foreign kits you only heard about in Scale Modeler from Hasegawa and Fujimi, and so on. It was towards the end of the run there that he started to get into mail order.
The mail order business continued to grow, and eventually in the late 80s/early 90s he moved to an old strip mall on the other side of town, converted to office space. This was on Champlain Ave. The mail order business was already heavy then, and the p*ssing off of local modelers happened, where he was first open Saturday for a few hours only, then closed up to the locals that had made him altogether.
This was the era of heavy FSM advertising, although I would not have anything to do with him. And they were successful, even out advertising and beating Squadron's prices in FSMs pages. And then it all collapsed around 10 years ago, when the dirty dealing got bad, and there were many PO'd ripped off customers.
A few years after that had settled some, a former employee bought the remaining stock and continued using the name. Perhaps not his best move. Even to this day, he occasionally gets a call looking for the former owner...today, Discount is mostly just a small local store, with some online selling of mostly rocket stuff, although there is some plastic left.
All of the stores locally are struggling these days, and I am not sure any of them are going to make it long term. Discount has downsized a couple times since that former employee started running things, and it is not good at a couple other local places either. It is amazing to think an area as small as this still has three shops, and was once a major player in the hobby business. I think some of that was due to the presence of Griffiss AFB; lots of modelers in the military helped support them. When Griffiss closed up in the mid 90s, things were never the same in the area, or for the hobby shops. All good things....
This message has been edited by MJames70 from IP address 220.127.116.11 on Apr 29, 2012 12:32 AM
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