After 13 years in business, the last seven of which were spent at its current location on Maiden Lane in downtown Windsor, Works on Paper bookstore is shutting its doors for good. In an interview with the Windsor Star, owner Betty Wilkinson blamed the lack of pedestrian traffic downtown for the decline in her store’s fortunes:
“There’s hardly any traffic anymore, sales are virtually non-existent and I haven’t done more than break even for the past two years,” said Wilkinson. “It seems so final to say it’s a closing but there it is.”
Wilkinson, 78, is conducting a closing-out sale and plans to complete the task by mid-October.
“There’s an awful lot of stuff in here and it’s a little scary to set dates, but I have to, otherwise it could go on for a while,” said Wilkinson. “It’s very traumatic but I’m not young anymore and I need to move on.”
Wilkinson, who has attempted to revivify Windsor’s downtown through initiatives such as street fairs and a “Take Back the Day” campaign, says that too many citizens think the downtown is unattractive and unsafe, and therefore stay away.
“The more we emphasize making downtown a place for tourists and visitors, the more I wring my hands,” said Wilkinson. “Downtown should be a city’s signature destination and we should be making it hospitable and comfortable for our residents first. If we do that, the tourism and hospitality sector will take care of itself.”