ST. CLAIRSVILLE - Viewing the immense first floor filled with merchandise while riding the escalator once used by J.C. Penney, Albert Boscov said he is glad to open the new 170,000-square-foot store at the Ohio Valley Mall.
"We offer great value without gimmicks," said Boscov, chairman and chief executive officer of the Boscov's department store chain. "We have the space to provide great selection."
The official grand opening is today.
BOSCOV VISITS BOSCOV’S — Albert Boscov, chairman and chief executive officer of Boscov’s, overlooks the new Ohio Valley Mall store from the escalator once used by J.C. Penney.
-- Casey Junkins
"Whenever we open a new store, we work to become part of the community. We will help anyway we can," Boscov said.
Those entering the store on its first floor will find a myriad of clothing, outerwear, shoes, jewelry, cosmetics, handbags and accessories. There are famous brands such as Levi's, Calvin Klein, Dockers and Champion; several exclusive brands; and a wide range of price points.
"We believe in honest pricing - our prices will beat anyone's when you compare the quality of the merchandise," Boscov said. "And we don't mess around with coupons. We give you the lowest price we can."
On the second floor, one will find a vast collection of furniture, housewares, small appliances, curtains, bedding and gifts. Boscov's also features a section devoted to chocolates and sweets on the second floor - at which Boscov was sure to stop for a chocolate pretzel during a Wednesday tour.
With about 250 employees at the store, Boscov said the company focuses on providing strong customer service along with low prices.
"The work ethic of the people in this area is unbelievable. Our co-workers are our secret weapons," he said in commending his staff members.
Boscov previously sold the family business, but the buyer entered into bankruptcy after a few years. He said when he decided to buy back his company, the Cafaro family, which owns the mall, loaned the Boscovs $20 million to help with the purchase.
"This is a great location for us, anyway," Boscov said.
Boscov's describes itself as the largest family-owned department store in the nation, boasting it is a "billion dollar plus" chain. It has been in business for more than 100 years. There are now 43 Boscov's stores in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey and Maryland.
When asked how his retailer will perform in the mall - which already features Macy's, Elder-Beerman, Sears and Kmart as department stores - Boscov said he expects all the stores to prosper.
"This will help grow the marketplace," he said.