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  • Writer's pictureBen Aubuchon

Aubuchon Hardware Honored with Beacon Award for Community Service

Cultivated by The Hardware Connection magazine and The Hardware Conference, the Beacon Awards recognize the nation's very best independent hardware and home improvement retailers. During the ninth anniversary of the premier national industry awards banquet, Aubuchon Hardware was one of eight recipients of the Beacon Award for Community Service!

Bernard W. Aubuchon Jr. receives the Beacon Award for Community Service at the 2020/2021 Hardware Connection Conference.

Aubuchon Hardware received the Community Service Award for going above and beyond to find new ways to serve their communities during the global pandemic. “Aubuchon Hardware, the Aubuchon family and their team of employees are more than worthy of their inclusion in the 2020 class of honorees,” stated Chris Jensen - editor, founder, and principal of The Hardware Connection. “Their passion for the industry is matched only by their love of the communities they serve. Aubuchon Hardware defines what it means to be a beacon of hope during challenging times.”

We have been in tough situations before, navigating through wars, the Great Depression, natural disasters, terrorist attacks, and pandemics. The truth is, we have seen a lot since 1908. With 105 hardware stores spread amongst seven states, we have a lot of different communities to serve during challenging times, but together we persevere.

“We’re a fourth-generation, family-owned private business and there has been a remarkable tradition handed down from my great-grandfather to me,” says President Will Aubuchon IV. Aubuchon drafted a special message and recorded a video to explain the company’s

COVID-19 response, offering encouragement through the difficult times and emphasizing our focus on helping employees and customers. He also shared many more messages internally with our 1,500 employees such as this video thanking them for their dedicated effort. “It was quite scary in those early days, because so much was unknown and the

communities were relying on us as an essential business,” Aubuchon recalls. “Our key message was to stand behind our employees. Safety is our number one priority, because the community depended on it. We rallied around doing important work in our stores and following our core values of taking care of each other.”

For many years we invested heavily in e-commerce, so we were relatively prepared for the tremendous surge in web traffic and were equipped to offer customers our buy online pickup in store service. “Our web revenue was up 1,500 percent for the year,” Aubuchon says. “We launched contactless curbside service, so customers can just check in online when they arrive without calling.” On top of the uptick in demand for essentials, we had to provide PPE (personal protective equipment) for over 1,500 employees; a difficult task during the height of supply chain issues and product shortages.

The Aubuchon Foundation was created as a nonprofit in 2008 by the third generation of the family to celebrate the company’s 100 year anniversary. The goal for the Aubuchon Foundation is to maximize our local impact by matching the generosity of our customers who give through local “round-up for charity” campaigns within our stores. The money raised stays in the local community. In 2019, we donated $105,000 to local charities. In 2020, we made a preemptive decision to support five different COVID-19 relief funds. This led to the donation of over $100,000 to COVID-19 relief funds throughout the various communities we serve. The relief funds include: Massachusetts COVID-19 Relief Fund, The Maine Community Foundation COVID-19 Emergency Response fund, The New Hampshire Charitable Foundation Community Crisis Action Fund, The Adirondack Foundation Special Urgent Needs Fund, and The Vermont Community Foundation COVID-19 Response Fund.

Winning the Beacon Award is a great honor for our whole team. The award is in recognition for all our dedicated employees who answered the call to serve the communities we operate in during challenging times. On behalf of our entire team, we want to thank The Hardware Connection and the sponsors for this award!

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