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BANGOR, Maine — Aubuchon Hardware has closed its Bangor store.
The store, at 21 Washington St., closed on Thursday, Fred Stewart, the store’s manager, confirmed for the Bangor Daily News on Friday.
The store employed 10 people, including himself, Stewart said.
Will Aubuchon, vice president of sales at Westminster, Mass.-based Aubuchon, told the BDN on Friday that Stewart and the store’s assistant manager, the store’s only two full-timers, would be given positions at the Brewer and Old Town Aubuchon locations, respectively. The eight part-timers would be laid off after the store’s inventory is packed up and hauled off, which would take three to four weeks, Aubuchon said.
“Obviously, this is last thing we ever wanted to do,” Aubuchon said. “Essentially, it’s about sales and we just, over the years, have never been able to make it work there. We’ve tried our darndest, but we’re at a point where a business decision had to be made, and we closed the store.”
Aubuchon is a family-owned business that was started in 1908. It has 119 stores throughout New England and upstate New York. Near Bangor, it has remaining locations in Brewer and Old Town.
Will Aubuchon said the part-timers will need to be laid off for now, but he said the company hoped to be able to rehire them once the business picks up in the spring.
“Our business does increase in the spring as a company, and we have good people in Bangor,” Aubuchon said. “At the moment, the winter is the quietest time for us, but as we get closer to spring we hope to do everything possible to offer opportunities to those folks.”
The hardware store can trace its roots in the city to 1914, when Walter Hanson and Hayward Dunham opened a wholesale hardware business on Broad Street in downtown Bangor.
In January 1964, Walter Hanson retired from the wholesale end of the business, but continued a retail operation with his son, Fred Hanson, under the name Bangor Hardware Co.
In 1965, Bangor Hardware Co. joined the hardware cooperative Cotter & Co., now True Value, to receive shipments directly from manufacturers and keep prices competitive with discount stores. In 1969, the store moved to Washington Street.
The Hanson family sold Bangor True Value Hardware to the Aubuchon family in December 2006.