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Author Topic: Aubuchon Hardware  (Read 2714 times)
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retailisking
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« on: January 10, 2013, 06:06:00 PM »

The largest family-owned hardware chain in the US with 126 locations in the Northeast is expanding into Canada. It's a homecoming of sorts for the family whose patriarch emigrated from Canada in the early 1900s. I hear they're establishing an initial presence in the Montreal area. The chain is unique in that they didn't have telephones in the stores until the 1990s, the belief being that in-store customer service would suffer if salespeople had to keep answering phone calls. The link below is a company history; it says nothing about their Canadian ambitions.
http://www.hardwarestore.com/Company-History.aspx
« Last Edit: January 10, 2013, 06:13:34 PM by retailisking » Logged
retailisking
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« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2013, 08:34:22 PM »

Make that 125 (or 119, or whatever...) The Aubuchon in Bangor, ME has closed
http://bangordailynews.com/2013/01/11/business/aubuchon-hardware-closes-bangor-store-will-lay-off-eight/
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retailisking
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« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2014, 09:44:47 PM »

The Raymond, ME Aubuchon has closed after ten years in business. The rental operation has moved north on Route 302 to its Naples store.


http://www.keepmecurrent.com/lakes_region_weekly/news/raymond-aubuchon-shuttered/article_2e771b28-f8a2-11e3-bb40-0019bb2963f4.html
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retailisking
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« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2014, 06:37:56 PM »

Nashua closes after nearly 78 years in business

http://www.nashuatelegraph.com/news/1046403-469/nashuas-aubuchon-hardware-closed-on-monday.html

Tuesday, September 16, 2014
 
Nashua’s Aubuchon Hardware closed on Monday

By DAVID BROOKS

Staff Writer

NASHUA – Just a week short of its 78th anniversary in the same Main Street location, Aubuchon Hardware shut its doors Monday morning, victim of the business world’s hard calculus.

“Very disappointingly – because it’s a beautiful store, with a beautiful variety of merchandise – sales had a history of not keeping up anywhere near the times, and there’s no real future for improvement,” said Daniel Aubuchon, chief operating officer of the family-owned Aubuchon Hardware chain, based in Westminster, Mass. The store’s lack of room to expand, and shortage of dedicated parking, were part of the decision.

The news spread fast Monday that one of Nashua’s mainstays was shutting its doors, just as soon as the four full-time employees covered the windows with paper and didn’t unlock the doors at 7:30 a.m. Customers, appalled at the news, stopped by the store and the phone kept ringing.

“I got a call from Pigeon Cove, Maine, about it,” said store manager Dennis Archambeault, during an interview conducted between calls on his mobile phone.

Among those who swung by was Tom Bester, who does maintenance work for Central Realty, a property management firm.

“I’ve been here every day for 12 years to get something,” Bester said. “As soon as I heard I dropped the job I’m working on and came staight here. ... This is terrible. It’s an outrage!”

The store will not have a closing sale. Aubuchon’s practice is to circulate unsold items, from crescent wrenches to propane grills to cans of paint, throughout other stores in the corporation.

Archambeault’s father, Lester, was the store’s first manager when it opened on Sept. 20, 1936. It was then roughly half its current size of a little over 4,400 square feet, with Nashua Fruit on one side and Nashua Gas & Electric on the other – both long gone.

Nashua’s store was the 19th opened by the chain, which now has 118 stores in six Northeastern state, includig 21 in New Hampshire.

Nashua’s store was the oldest Aubuchon store in the same location.

Dennis Archambeault began working for the store since before he could drive, and after a short stint away, became its manager in 1976. He said the news of the closing didn’t entirely surprise him, because he can analyze sales figures as well as any businessman.

“The past three years haven’t had sales like they should have,” he said.

Even the creation of a separate paint store three years ago, in conjunction with the store’s 75th anniversary, wasn’t enough to stem the side, although paint sales “were excellent,” said Archambeault.

“Downtown is not the place for hardware stores any more,” he said.

This isn’t the case merely in Nashua. The family owned Aubuchon Hardware chain has been shifting away from its tradition of smaller downtown stores to larger, standalone stores, where parking is better and square footage is cheaper.

“Main streets are turning more into service areas,” said Daniel Aubuchon. “We’re expanding, where we can, to anywhere from 10,000 to 15,000 square feet.”

The entire Main Street building, known as the Shea Building, is owned by Aubuchon Realty, an arm of the company. It will be leasing out the space when the store finally leaves in three to four weeks, after it has dealt with the complexity of returning some 40,000 different items to the company warehouse in Massachusetts.

Looking back at his tenure, Archambeault – a Nashua native and Bishop Guertin graduate – said that in many ways, nothing has changed in hardware sales. Some products are different, such as LED light bulbs, but the general need is similar.

“Do-it-yourself is still around. Home repair is still home repair,” he said. “If you’re doing a plumbing job, it’s a three-trip job – you’ll have to come back three times to get something to finish it.”

Overall, he said, hardware stores are “a toy store for guys and girls.”

Actually, for its first several decades, Aubuchon had a real toy store for children, located downstairs, alongside a housewares section. Old-timers will remember its huge Lionel model railroad setup.

The store got out of the toy business in 1969, but the need for tools, lawn and garden care, electrical and hardware and paint – has remained largely unchanged.

Archambeault himself is taking a job with the corporation that has been his home most of his adult life. But he will miss Main Street.

“I wish I could take all my customers with me,” he said.
« Last Edit: October 08, 2014, 08:15:52 PM by retailisking » Logged
retailisking
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« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2014, 06:41:47 PM »

And now the decades-old Lewiston store has closed
http://www.sunjournal.com/news/lewiston-auburn-business/2014/10/06/lewiston-hardware-store-closes/1599198
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JimSawhill
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« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2015, 07:22:15 PM »

Aubuchon used to have a store in what was the Mammoth Mart/Finast Plaza (School Street Square) in East Hartford in the late 60s.
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ynkeesfn82
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« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2015, 07:46:30 PM »

There is an ad in the July 11, 1985 Southington Observer Newspaper that says Grand Opening. Gives addresses as Lincoln Plaza West Main Street Meriden and Queen Plaza Queen Street Southington.

Page 9 & Page 16

http://southingtonlibrary.org/PDFFiles/newspapers/1985/07_11_1985.pdf
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