HARDWARE STORES

Aubuchon Hardware beats old man winter

BY HBSDealer Staff

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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Editor Picks: Inside 84 Lumber

BY HBSDealer Staff

Recommended reading from around the web includes a profile on 84 Lumber, an expansion for S.W. Collins and an indictment for barn-wood thieves.

• “Inside the 84 Lumber saga.” A profile on lumber industry giant 84 Lumber paints a picture of family squabbles, dark times, and ultimately a turnaround for Maggie Hardy Magerko. (source: Forbes)

• “S.W. Collins now targeting February opening.“ The 2015 Independent Pro Dealer of the Year S.W. Collings is about to open a hardware store location in Maine. (source: Bangor Daily News)

• “Indictments for three men accused of selling stolen barn lumber.” Reclaimed lumber is popular for high-end homes. But in Stanford, Kentucky, the trend has allegedly caught on with criminals. (source: The Interior Journal)

 

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Winter storm brings sales surge

BY HBSDealer Staff

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.”

 

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