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Boscov's Inc.
Founded1914 (104 years ago) (1914) in Reading, Pennsylvania, United States
FounderSolomon Boscov
4630 Perkiomen Avenue Exeter Township, Pennsylvania
Number of locations
47 stores (2018)
Area served
Northeastern United States
Key people
Jim Boscov, Chairman & CEO
Albert Boscov (former Chairman & CEO)
ProductsClothing, footwear, bedding, furniture, jewelry, beauty products, candy, household goods, toys/games, decor, small appliances
RevenueUS$ 1.2 billion (2017)
Number of employees
5,800 (2017)

Boscov's Inc. is a family-owned department store with 47 locations in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Ohio and Connecticut, as well as a future location in Rhode Island. Most stores are located in Pennsylvania.[1] The company chairman is Jim Boscov, who took over after his uncle Albert Boscov died from pancreatic cancer on February 10, 2017. Corporate headquarters are in Exeter Township, Pennsylvania.[2]


Solomon "Sol" Boscov was of Jewish descent. He immigrated from Russia to Reading, Pennsylvania, in 1911.[3] He had $1.37 in cash on arrival in the United States.[3] He worked as a traveling salesman with an initial $8 worth of merchandise. Because he spoke Yiddish, he was able to converse with people in Berks County who spoke Pennsylvania Dutch.[3] Boscov's fortunes changed in 1914 when he opened the first Boscov's store at 9th and Pike streets in Reading.[4][5] Boscov's began expanding in the Pennsylvania suburbs during the 1960s. By 1968, Boscov's had five stores, 2,200 workers, and annual sales exceeding $50 million.[6] Solomon Boscov retired and was succeeded by his son Albert "Albie" Boscov as head of the company in 1960.[6][7] He bought Fowler, Dick and Walker, the Boston Store in 1980. One of Wilkes-Barre's last remaining downtown department stores, it was also Boscov's first multi-story store.[8][9] Boscov's first entered the Philadelphia market in the late 1980s by opening Ports of the World outlet stores.[10] These stores would later be re-branded as Boscov's sometime in the mid-1990s.

In 2006, Albert Boscov, the son of Solomon Boscov, retired and his nephew Kenneth Lakin became chairman and chief executive. Lakin led an aggressive expansion of the chain, opening 10 new stores by 2008. The new stores did not perform as expected. In August 2008, just prior to the 2008 economic downturn Boscov's filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy. [11] Al Boscov came out of retirement and regained control of the company. As part of the bankruptcy, 10 stores were closed. The company emerged from bankruptcy in September 2009.[12]

Albert Boscov died from pancreatic cancer on February 10, 2017, at the age of 87.[13] The chain is now headed by his nephew, Jim Boscov.[2]

Boscov's continuing success makes it regarded as an "outlier" in a retail market where many department store chains are failing and closing stores. Boscov's saw record sales of $1.2 billion in 2017. Since 2009, the chain continues to expand and opened its 47th store in Milford, Connecticut in October 2018. Boscov's plans to continue to open one store per year and has invested in older stores by renovating them.[2] Boscov's has announced plans to move into Rhode Island's Providence Place mall in 2019, following the departure of Nordstrom, which terminated the lease on the space.[14]

Jazz festival[edit]

Boscov's sponsors the annual "Boscov's Berks Jazz Fest" which draws 35,000 to 40,000 people to the area.[15][16]

Store locations[edit]



  1. ^ "About Boscov's Department Stores". Boscov's. Retrieved November 23, 2016.
  2. ^ a b c Allabaugh, Denise (25 March 2018). "Boscov's doing retail right". The Scranton Times-Tribune. Retrieved 22 April 2018.
  3. ^ a b c Charles Schuyler Castner. Berksiana. 1976, p.321.
  4. ^ Berksiana. Charles Schuyler Castner. 1976. Page 319
  5. ^ Kellar, Travis (December 2014). "Boscov's transformed from general merchandise store to department cha". Times Leader. Retrieved 23 April 2018.
  6. ^ a b Berksiana. Charles Schuyler Castner. 1976. Page 323
  7. ^ "About Boscov's Department Stores". Retrieved January 28, 2011.
  8. ^ Allabugh, Denise (December 3, 2017). "Grandchildren of retail legend Boscov publish book in his memory". Standard~Speaker. Hazleton, Pennsylvania. Retrieved January 15, 2018. he purchased Fowler, Dick and Walker, the Boston Store ... in 1980
  9. ^ "Our History". The F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts. Retrieved January 15, 2018.
  10. ^ Milford, Maureen (July 12, 1987). "Boscov's Evades Trends". The Morning News from Wilmington, Delaware. Retrieved 20 April 2018.
  11. ^ Burns, Patrick (August 5, 2008). "Retailer Boscov's goes bankrupt". LNP Media Group. Retrieved 23 April 2018.
  12. ^ Panaritis, Maria (September 18, 2009). "Boscov's emerges from bankruptcy". Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved 23 April 2018.
  13. ^ "Boscov's chairman Albert Boscov dies at 87". The Baltimore Sun. Associated Press. February 11, 2017. Retrieved January 27, 2018.
  14. ^ List, Madeleine (October 9, 2018). "Nordstrom to close store at Providence Place; Boscov's set to enter space". The Providence Journal. Retrieved October 25, 2018.
  15. ^ Long, Jeremy (22 April 2018). "The 28th Annual Boscov's Berks Jazz Fest drew 35,000 to 40,000 people to the area". Reading Eagle. Retrieved 22 April 2018.
  16. ^ Vasil, Jim (4 April 2018). "2018 Berks Jazz Fest taking shape ahead of opening night". WFMZ-TV.