Aubuchon Hardware beats old man winter
Winter storm Juno clobbered Massachusetts. But thanks to some aggressive preparation, Westminster, Massachusetts-based Aubuchon Hardware had some strong sales numbers to report
In preparation for Winter Storm Juno, some Aubuchon Hardware managers spent the night in their stores. And distribution center employees worked through Sunday.
The result: a 311% sales gain on Jan. 26, the day before the storm hit, according to Bernard Aubuchon, senior VP of purchasing for the New England retailer with about 120 hardware stores. “We call this ‘misery retailing,’” he said.
“Our stores stayed open later than usual on Monday because they were so busy with people picking up items after work to prepare for the blizzard,” Aubuchon told HBSDealer.
The forecasts for the storm prompted extra work in the company’s Westminster distribution center on Sunday night.
“Our drivers then delivered three truckloads on Sunday night and four truckloads on Monday morning to our large stores in eastern Massachusetts,” he said. “ The trucks were loaded with the usual winter storm items such as snow shovels, roof rakes, ice melter, generators, gas cans, flashlights, batteries, and lamp oil.”
Tuesday was a day of State-of-Emergency store closings. But Wednesday picked up.
“With many schools closed on Wednesday, the day after the blizzard, we also had a nice sales increase in sleds,” Aubuchon said.
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Winter storm brings sales surge
Winter storm Juno effectively shut down businesses in New England on Tuesday, but anticipation of the storm generated major sales on Monday.
“Monday was one of our best selling days in the history of the company,” said Geof Webb, director of marketing and advertising for Rocky’s Ace Hardware, a 32-store family owned company based in Springfield, Massachusetts. “Although stores were packed throughout the day and into the evening, we were able to take care of customers and their needs, with a few exceptions. We did run out of snowthrowers.”
Tuesday was a completely different story, he said, as governors of most of the New England states where Rocky’s operates had declared a “state of emergency.” That meant closed doors.
“We were able to reserve product and stores are being replenished today and tomorrow. There are two smaller storms in the forecast, one for Friday and another Sunday night into Monday," Webb told HBSDealer.com. “We will be stocked and ready to satisfy our customers’ needs in the communities we serve.”