After a long run, the Aubuchon Hardware store on Main Street in Concord closing its doors

Aubuchon assistant manager Peter Taber of Pittsfield works in his office on Tuesday.

Aubuchon assistant manager Peter Taber of Pittsfield works in his office on Tuesday. Ray Duckler / Monitor staff

Aubuchon assistant manager Peter Taber of Pittsfield works in his office on Tuesday.

Aubuchon assistant manager Peter Taber of Pittsfield works in his office on Tuesday. Ray Duckler / Monitor staff

Aubuchon assistant manager Peter Taber (left) assists shopper Jack Higgins of Alton on Tuesday.

Aubuchon assistant manager Peter Taber (left) assists shopper Jack Higgins of Alton on Tuesday. Ray Duckler / Monitor staff

The Aubuchon Hardware store on South Main Street in Concord announced it will close down on March 18.

The Aubuchon Hardware store on South Main Street in Concord announced it will close down on March 18. Jonathan Van Fleet / Monitor staff

The Aubuchon Hardware store on South Main Street in Concord announced it will close down on March 16.

The Aubuchon Hardware store on South Main Street in Concord announced it will close down on March 16. Jonathan Van Fleet—Monitor staff

By RAY DUCKLER

Monitor staff

Published: 02-14-2024 11:09 AM

Modified: 02-15-2024 6:20 PM


For regular customers like Dick and Andrea Bean of Pembroke who stopped by the Aubuchon store on South Main Street this week, the 40% off sale was exciting, but the news that the business is shutting down was beyond disappointing.

The Beans came for the sale. They bought a canister of white paint for their grandson’s school project. They often shop for fertilizer and plants to place at grave sites.

“It’s very, very sad that the store’s closing.” Dick said.

“I think it’s a shame because it’s convenient,” added Andrea. “You don’t have to worry about the crowds like at Home Depot or Lowe’s.”

The store announced this week that it will close down on March 18.

As far as assistant manager Peter Taber could recall, the Aubuchon Hardware store on South Main Street, a staple in the city for more than four decades, made more money in one day this week than it typically averages for an entire week.

For all the wrong reasons, though.

Taber said his staff barely had time to breathe.

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“Yeah, the place was crazy,” Taber said about the start of the going-out-of-business sale that began Monday. “Busy all day, like seven times the normal sales. And now today, it slowed down a little bit. But we did a normal amount of sales that we’d have done for an entire work day by 9.”

Jack Higgins of Alton pushed a cart, similar to the ones you find at grocery stores. He had window cleaner, light bulbs and motor oil.

“It’s always sad when a retail store goes away,” Higgins said, “but if the people don’t support it, then what are you going to do?”

Jennifer Lombardo has lived in Concord for 30 years, meaning she’s been shopping at Aubuchon’s for nearly as long.

“When ever I needed a little something, I preferred to come here,” Lombardo said. “I didn’t know about the sales and closing until I walked in. I was surprised and felt that this is sad.”

Liam Hickey of Concord is also a regular. He had no idea the store was closing until he got there and saw the sale signs.

“I just came in for electrical tape and some bolts and now I’m buying a lot since they are not going to be here,” Hickey said. “A hardware store on Main Street seems appropriate. Maybe I’m just being over-sentimental, but it seems like a necessary part of having a downtown.”

Taber, who is 26 and lives in Pittsfield, said the Concord Aubuchon wasn’t making the same profits that it once had, citing the location as one reason, saying the area is busy and congested and the store’s parking lot is hidden far in the back.

He said the employees were offered jobs at the Alton facility, which will remain open. There’s also a branch in Allenstown that won’t be affected.

“They were good in Concord about keeping us,” Taber said. “It wasn’t anything that we were doing wrong here. It was more just location. It’s a landmark, but we’re kind of in a bad area. We’re buried away in the parking lot. When I had my GPS on the store and it was the first time I came by, I drove past. I didn’t see it.”

Taber has fielded calls from customers this week. He’ll no doubt get more over the next month, leading up to the closing date, once word spreads.

“I’ve been getting phone calls, and it’s the same message,” Taber said. “I keep hearing, ‘I’m sorry to hear you guys are closing.’ Sad.”