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  • Writer's pictureBen Aubuchon

Retiring Husband and Wife Sell their Hardware Store to the Aubuchon Company

Updated: Jun 8, 2022

After nearly three decades of enduring labor, Charlie and Kathy Welch have decided to retire and sell their family-run hardware store, Welch's True Value, to the Aubuchon Company.

In 1958, Wes and Doug Welch bought and opened a hardware store in the quaint town of South Royalton, Vermont. Charlie's father, Wes, was the hardware merchant, while his uncle, Doug, provided the plumbing, heating, and electrical service.

After working as a part-time employee throughout high school, Charlie joined the family business as a full-time employee in 1974. In 1978 when Uncle Doug decided it was time to retire, Charlie and his wife bought his portion of the business. A few years later in 1983, Charlie and his wife bought the remainder of the business from his father and changed the name from “Welch Brothers’ True Value Hardware Store” to “Welch's True Value Hardware Store.”

As time went on, the store grew to 10 departments including hardware, tools, paint, lawn and garden, pets, plumbing, heating, electrical, automotive, and even rental and equipment repair. Due to all the expansion, by 1988 it was evident that the store had outgrown its original Chelsea Street location, so the Welch's built a new 100' x 124' building on Route 14.

At age 72, Charlie says him and his wife's decision to retire is "strictly a personal one."

On March 14, 2022, Welch's True Value was officially rebranded to “Aubuchon Hardware” by the fourth generation family owned and operated company. Pictured to the right is the store front with its brand new Aubuchon Hardware and Benjamin Moore sign.

"We are passionate about carrying the torch forward. What Charlie and his family built is unique" stated William E. Aubuchon, IV, CEO of the Aubuchon Company.

Welch's True Value, like many others, has been affected by the recent global supply chain issues. With 107 stores and growing, the Aubuchon Company takes pride in its ability to obtain products.

Pictured to the left is the store's STIHL department, freshly stocked with a variety of power tools and supplies, all ready to conquer any DIY project a customer may have in mind.

"Over the past two years, the Product Team along with our Merchandising Analyst have been relentless in finding ways to source products to keep our retail locations stocked to serve the needs of our customers. With our multiple distribution partners, we have been able to maintain a stock out percentage in our retail stores below 3% to best service our customers. Based on our ability to source products, the customers in South Royalton will once again be able to shop locally with confidence in knowing that they will be able to get all their home improvement project needs." said Josiah Gates, Executive Vice President of Retail at the Aubuchon Company.

The Aubuchon Company will continue to run this store the same way Charlie and Kathy did, by treating employees like family, solving problems, and serving those who depend on us.

Pictured to the right is Store Supervisor, Mason, on his watchtower. Mason is one of many employees who is excited about the new ownership!

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