Carrie Rengers

Ames Watch Repair owner ponders plans following Gessler’s closing

Gessler Drug Co. customers weren’t the only ones surprised when the company abruptly closed its two Wichita stores a couple of weeks ago.

“It hit me like a ton of bricks,” says Allen Ames, whose Ames Watch Repair has been at three Gessler’s stores over four decades, including the east-side Gessler most recently.

“I had no idea,” Ames says of the closing.

He says he found out four days before.

“I couldn’t tell anybody what was going on.”

Since then, he says he’s called all his customers whose watches he’s currently working on. Ames says he’ll complete that work and then make a decision on what he’s going to do next.

He’s always done much of the work out of his house.

Ames says he started his career 45 years ago doing trade work, meaning he took watch repair work from various jewelry stores. That’s an option now.

So is another retail site. Ames says he’s looked at potential spaces to share with other businesses and has a couple of a prospects.

One thing the 70-year-old isn’t particularly interested in doing is retiring.

“I love to do watch repair.”

Carrie Rengers: 316-268-6340, @CarrieRengers