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Longtime shop for books in New Glasgow moves to Westville

Downtown Exchange owners John and Jan Wile in their new Westville store.
Downtown Exchange owners John and Jan Wile in their new Westville store.

Displays in the window of the new Downtown Exchange building are catching people’s eye.

“We have window shoppers now,” said owner Jan Wile, excited.

Jan and her husband John Wile have run a book, home décor and crafting store, formerly called Downtown Book Exchange, in New Glasgow for the past few years. They said they’ve been looking at a new location in Westville for two years, but it was never available to them until June of this year.

“The main factor in the move was customers coming in and saying they had no idea the store was there before,” Jane said.

“We’re such a visible store but we had no visibility.”

When they heard about the opportunity, things started moving right away.

“We always jump in at the deep end,” Jan said about their quick move and turnaround time. They said they wanted the ice cream open and running for the Canada Day festivities in the first week of July and the rest has been steadily progressing since then.

John said he doesn’t feel that they’ve lost anything in the move, only gained.

One of the benefits of the move has been the freedom, he said. While in the mini-mall in New Glasgow, the hours were mostly dictated by when everything else around them closed, but now the shop can be open on nights and weekends.

The new hours are great for crafting workshops for people who work nine to five jobs, she said.

As for what’s new, the larger space has opened up tons of opportunities for new products, said the Wiles.

They said they had wanted to bring consignees into the store for a while but they never had the space for many in the New Glasgow shop. Now, looking around their new location, they have seven different consignees already and would like to include more.

The ice cream has its own space, opening the door to expand into cakes, milkshakes and the like, said Jan.

The new location has a room for the workshops, a room for the books, the main store area and underneath all of that is a woodshop to create more products. John said some of those new products he’s making are custom frames for things like rug hooking wall art or cross-stitch.

“We can see this really starting to take off,” said John.

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