ST. CLAIRSVILLE - A new Boscov's department store is scheduled to open at the Ohio Valley Mall in October - just in time for the 2013 holiday shopping season.
Anthony Cafaro Jr., co-president of Cafaro Co., which owns the mall, and Albert Boscov, chairman of Boscov's, made the announcement this morning, noting it will be the first Boscov's to open in the state of Ohio.
The store will occupy the space most recently used by Levin Furniture Outlet and J.C. Penney.
Photos by Scott McCloskey
James Boscov, left, vice-chairman of Boscov’s; Anthony Cafaro Jr., co-president of Cafaro Co.; and Albert Boscov, chairman, gather during this morning’s announcement of the department store coming to the Ohio Valley Mall in October.
Plans include enlarging the store to encompass 180,000 square feet of retail space in addition to a community auditorium where entertainers, fashion shows and other events will be held. The store will employ about 300 people.
Boscov said he was excited about the market and the people. He said they had considered moving into the St. Clairsville area for years, but it wasn't until the unemployment rate dropped to 8 percent that they decided to make their move.
''We see a tremendous amount of opportunity here,'' he said.
Boscov had previously sold the family business, but that company entered into bankrupcty after a few years.
Boscov noted when he decided to buy back his company, the Cafaro family loaned them $20 million to help with the purchase.
''We are here for two reasons: because it's the right place to be and because we certainly owe a debt to the Cafaro family,'' Boscov said.
He noted the store's pricing is competitive, but items are affordable even when not on sale.
''Boscov's is slightly different than most retailers because we understand that no one in America needs a doggone thing - that every closet is full. But retailing is fun and recreation and we try to make it fun and recreational,'' 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 102 years. There are 41 Boscov's in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey and Maryland.
''Many stores who call themselves department stores really have become specialty stores,'' Boscov said. ''But we still believe in the traditional department store, where in one shopping trip you can find everything you want.''
Belmont County Commissioner Ginny Favede said she is excited about the new department store. She said when J.C. Penney moved from the mall to The Highland, the county's coffers took a hit.
''I think the women and the mothers are going to be thrilled,'' Favede said, noting she's shopped at a Boscov's in the past. ''It's also a family business and we take that seriously in our area.''
Belmont County Commissioner Matt Coffland said he also is happy with the announcement, noting the commission will continue to work closely with the Cafaro Co. to help bring new businesses to the mall. The county, he said, is continuing to grow in terms of new companies.
''We're looking forward to more tenants,'' he said.
Boscov added that many of his stores employ 300-400 people because they believe in customer service. For example, if a person needs help getting their packages to the car, an employee will assist them. And their stores' volume of sales also calls for a high number of workers, he said.