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Dear Friends

January 24, 2014 Leave a comment Go to comments

Dear Friends,

As the end of January approaches we are faced with the realization that we are running out of time to catch up on the debt that was incurred during our move and temporary closure. Although sales have been steady and the majority of our clients have found us and are happy with our new location, we aren’t bringing in enough revenue to make up for what was lost. Although we have put all of our blood, sweat and tears LITERALLY for the last decade into this shop, with the management team often working 50 – 60 hours a week and 6 day work weeks, we just haven’t been able to bring in the inventory to generate the sales needed to sustain our expenses AND catch up. We have a very limited time to make a few very large tax payments or we will be forced to shut our doors permanently.

Through the end of the month we will be exploring a number of different options to keep the doors open because we know that many of the items we offer can’t be easily obtained elsewhere. We’ll be marking most of our inventory down in an effort to generate the funds needed to buy us more time to get back on our feet as well as explore the possibility of adding a partner, investors or even selling to new owners.

Over the last 10 years we have celebrated the birth of 3 of our own children, and we’ve seen clients and Team Members grown up and start their own families. We’ve been there for new beginnings as well as endings. Helped thousands of people choose the right pets for their families and supported them if things didn’t always work out. We’ve given advice when going to the vet wasn’t an option and taken in critters that needed TLC. We’ve rescued dying dogs from dumpsters in December, animals that were left in apartments and abandoned homes, and even taken in cats that found us on their own (and walked right in the front door). We’ve occasionally had to make the terrible decision to not allow people to adopt an animal when we didn’t feel it would be a safe environment and celebrated when we knew without a doubt that we’d found a fantastic home.

It’s easy to forget that businesses aren’t all owned by big corporations with lots of financial assistance and at the end of the day, we’re just people like you. We had a desire to help other people and for 10 years I think we’ve done a pretty ok job of it. We made mistakes along the way but always tried to put the critters first in every decision. To say that it’s been a labor of love is an understatement. We’ve always been happy to give free advice, assessments and consultations but unfortunately “free” doesn’t pay the bills. Our overhead expenses are higher than other retailers because our inventory consumes inventory and the costs of maintaining the critters is not cheap. The only way for us to cover our expenses is to sell merchandise. We have no way to recover when a customer comes to us for help/information then chooses to go elsewhere for their purchases. We had hoped that 2013 would be a year of new beginnings but we were faced with one unexpected hurtle after another (delays, government shut downs and auto accidents, just to name a few!) and we know that we’re not going to be able to keep up.

Please come in and pick up what you can or make a donation while we’re still here. And if you or anyone you know is interested in investing in a little family-run exotic pet shop, we might want to talk to them.  Nothing has been finalized yet but we’ll do our best to keep you all updated as decisions are made.

Sincerely,                                                                                                                                                             The WildSide Team

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