Campaign to keep Wilson's of Wickford open underway - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

Campaign to keep Wilson's of Wickford open underway

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Customers streamed into Wilson’s of Wickford Thursday morning, but will it be enough to save the 70 year old store?

Faced with closing down next Monday, the owners are doing a "Crowd Tilt" funding campaign hoping to raise $148,000 to keep the doors open.

They are better than halfway there.

"You know our grandfather started the business; my dad is still active; there's elements of the fourth generation here working on a weekly basis; we'd all like to continue," says VP Jim Wilson.

The owners now know they need to adapt their business model; bring in new lines of clothing; and develop an internet presence.

But at the same time customers want the local service and appeal. Dave Meegan's family has shopped here since the 1950's.

"It's says that this family the Wilson's, are a treasure in our community. They've been an anchor," says Wilson’s customer Dave Meegan.

The owners of Wilson's hope their plight will spur state lawmakers to create regulations that are more business friendly in Rhode Island.

The unique effort to save Wilson’s has drawn a lot of publicity and also drew state leaders to see if they can help this and other businesses in peril.

“We'll look to see if there are state business grants they may not be aware of or universities than can offer expertise," says House Speaker Nick Mattiello.

Meantime a lot of customers are pitching in. Even a West Warwick man sent a jar of pennies, hoping his small gesture would help keep Wilson’s of Wickford open.

(C) WLNE/TV

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