Department store titan Albert Boscov dies

Albert Boscov, who built and later saved the family-owned department store group during the financial crisis, has died.  

He was 87 and according to media reports suffered from pancreatic cancer. He had retired from the company for the second time in 2015  but had remained chairman. 

Tributes poured in on social media for Boscov from current, and  former employees as word of his death were posted on the company’s website and in media reports. Boscov was known for keeping the family touch at the stores. 

Delaware played a key role in the expansion of Boscov’s from its home base in Reading, PA. The company operates stores in Concord Mall, Dover and the Christiana Mall area. 

In his latter years, Boscov’s became well known for keeping the family owned company under family ownership.

After retiring from the company, his successor and family member decided to add several stores and take on a heavy debt load at the onset of the financial crisis of 2008 and 2009.

Boscov led an uphill fight to refinance the company and keep it under family control while closing some stores and keeping the retailer out of bankruptcy court. 

The effort succeeded and the privately held company has  indicated that  sales have been rising every year as a modest expansion continues. 

Boscov’s now has more than four dozen stores in an area extending from Connecticut to Ohio and Virginia.

In recent years, the company has gradually added stores, despite difficult conditions in the department store business that have led to much larger rivals, like Macy’s. 

After a flirtation with higher price points and higher end fashions, Boscov’s returned to its roots and offered more moderately priced merchandise and discount promotions. The company is not afraid to offer “As seen on TV merchandise” as well as low-priced kitchenware and other promotional g 

The company is not afraid to offer “As seen on TV merchandise” as well as low-priced kitchenware and other promotions. Also gone are items like lawn mowers and home appliances as the company sharpened its focused. 

A few years ago, the company returned to White Marsh Mall, down Interstate 95 from northern Delaware and reopened a store it had shuttered after the overly ambitious expansion 

Boscov was known for keeping the family touch at the stores, although the troubles in retailing had taken their toll in that area in recent years. 

 

 

 

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