Welch’s True Value Hardware to Close in Woodstock, Consolidate at South Royalton Store

Valley News Business Writer
Thursday, April 05, 2018

Woodstock — Welch’s True Value Hardware store on Route 4 in West Woodstock is shutting its doors, the latest casualty in wave of small retail business closings to sweep the Upper Valley.

Owner Charlie Welch said the decision to close the Woodstock store, and consolidate its operations at his True Value Hardware store in South Royalton, is the result of declining sales and rising costs.

“Expenses keep going up,” Welch said, but sales have not kept apace. “I don’t know whether I can prove it, but I’m sure Amazon has something to do with it.”

Welch and his wife, Kathy Welch, bought the West Woodstock store from Scott and Liz Peters in 1996. Welch’s parents, Wesley and Elaine Welch and his uncle and his wife at the time, Douglas and Mary Welch, started the South Royalton hardware store in 1958. Charlie and Kathy Welch bought out his uncle’s half of the business in 1978 and his father’s half in 1983.

“Our kids grew up in it,” Charlie Welch said of the South Royalton store. “The bus would drop them off at the end of the lane. They’d do their homework at the store and then Kathy would take them home and feed them dinner and then work some more.”

Between three to six employees work at the West Woodstock store; Welch said it is undecided at this time how many will transfer to the South Royalton store.

Welch said it makes more sense to consolidate operations at the South Royalton store because it has nearly twice the space as the West Woodstock store and is more centrally located for customers. He said he is unsure what they will do with the store property on Route 4.

“We’ll lease it or sell it. Whatever’s the best use for us and the community,” he said. Welch said.

The Woodstock store began a liquidation sale on Friday, which will run through June 30 when the store  closes for good, Welch said.

John Lippman can be reached at jlippman@vnews.com or 603-727-3219.