Rockler, Beloved Hardware Store in Legacy Cambridge, Set to Close on Dec. 30 After 4 Decades of Operation

    The Shocking News of Rockler Woodworking Store in Cambridge Closing Forever

    It is with great sadness that we report the imminent closure of Rockler Woodworking and Hardware in Cambridge. The iconic store, located in Porter Square, will be shutting its doors for good on December 30th. To mark this unfortunate event, the store is offering a massive 30 percent discount on all merchandise until its final day of operation.

    The announcement of the closure has left both staff members and customers devastated. Store manager Peter Rochibaud expressed his disappointment, stating, “Based on the customer response we’re seeing, it’s a really devastating loss to the community.”

    Rockler Woodworking store holds a significant legacy in Cambridge, dating back to its opening in 1983 under the name “The Woodworker’s Store.” The store has always prioritized its commitment to customers, offering a personalized store experience that has become increasingly rare in today’s era of chain hardware stores. From lumber to drill bits, Rockler has stocked everything a woodworker could need, providing expert advice and even woodworking classes.

    As news of the closure spread, the store was filled with concerned customers demanding answers as to why their beloved store was closing. According to staff member Nick Land, the decision was motivated by Rockler’s desire to transition to larger store models. The current Cambridge location, with its limited size and accessibility, no longer aligns with the company’s vision for the future.

    Vice President of Retail at Rockler, Joe Kester, confirmed this rationale, stating, “The size and accessibility limitations of the Cambridge location hinders our ability to present the great retail experience that we strive to offer for our customers across the country at our newer store models.”

    Former employee Paco Coleman, who happened to be in the store as a customer on Thursday, indicated that the parent company had neglected the Cambridge location for some time. Coleman observed, “They never fixed certain things, they wouldn’t fix the lights. The store is small, it’s old, it’s just not what they want their image to be.”

    The closing of Rockler’s Cambridge location marks a significant loss for the woodworking community in the area. The store has always been more than just a retail outlet; it has served as a valuable resource for knowledge and expert advice. As store manager Peter Rochibaud mentioned, “Yes, we sell products, but it’s really more about the experience you get when you come into the store.”

    Customers expressed their sadness about the closure, recognizing the unique niche that Rockler occupies in the market. Ken Loomis, who was shopping at the store on Thursday, expressed his sorrow, while another customer, Clint Clements, mentioned that he often visited Rockler when he couldn’t find what he needed at larger hardware stores. Clements, a resident of Wellesley, admitted that he would continue shopping with the company online but would miss the invaluable in-store experience.

    Once Rockler Cambridge closes its doors, the nearest location for loyal customers will be in Salem, New Hampshire. While online shopping remains an option, former employee Paco Coleman emphasized that it cannot replace the benefits of an in-person store. Coleman, who worked at Rockler for seven years, stated, “To work here, you have to know a ton. People come from all over to find what they need, to ask questions, and they come here because they know the people who work here actually have answers.”

    The closure of Rockler Cambridge will undoubtedly leave a void in the local woodworking community, but there are other sources woodworkers can turn to. Longleaf Lumber and Anderson & McQuaid, both located in the Cambridge Highlands, offer alternative options for woodworking supplies. Additionally, the makerspaces at The Foundry community building in East Cambridge provide a vibrant community where woodworkers can connect and share their expertise.

    As for the future of the Massachusetts Avenue space, it remains uncertain. Although there is a possibility of a new store opening in Massachusetts that aligns with Rockler’s preferred size and features, Nick Land expressed doubt that it would come to fruition.

    In conclusion, the closure of Rockler Woodworking and Hardware in Cambridge marks the end of an era for the woodworking community. This beloved store, known for its expertise and personalized service, will be sorely missed by its dedicated customers. As shoppers flock to take advantage of the closing discounts, there is a sense of both grieving and appreciation for what Rockler Cambridge has provided over the years.

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