I have mentioned the bookstore on the square, The Wild, in this space several times. It is a place I feel a deep connection with, as I was there at the beginning. My husband Rob and I helped to start the store together with Jane and Ernie Mills. In the planning stages, I was the leader of the so called ‘Board Meetings’, keeping those goofballs on task with my running ‘to do’ lists as they threw back Barley Island Dirty Helens and went off on irrelevant tangents. Though we parted ways with the Mills later on, we are friends and have seen the good it has done in this community since 2005.
The Wild is for sale. If no buyer is found by February’s end, the store will close. I recently sat down with Jane to discuss her decision to make The Wild available for sale. She referred to the Perfect Storm of circumstances that lead to the decision. She cited price wars over books among big chain stores like Wal-Mart and Target, increased competition with Hamilton Town Center and Amazon, lack of support for the Square from city government, a slow economy, corporate pay cuts for Ernie, and staggering out-of-pocket heath care costs.
The store (www.gotothewild.com) has always been profitable and could have taken on half of these circumstances, but not all, thus leading to the decision to sell or close. This would be an amazing opportunity for someone looking to have a meaningful, creative store with loyal customers. Thank you, Jane, Ernie and Fritz Mills, for your many contributions to this community. We love you.