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Boscov's - The history
In 1911, Solomon Boscov emigrated from Russia to Reading, Pennsylvania. At the time of his arrival in the United States, he had $1.37. He worked as a traveling salesman with an initial $8 worth of merchandise. He was able to speak with people in Berks County who spoke Pennsylvania Dutch because he spoke Yiddish. Boscov's fortunes changed in 1914 when he opened the first Boscov's store at 9th and Pike streets in Reading. Boscov's started expanding in the Pennsylvania suburbs during the 1960s. By 1968, Boscov's had five stores, 2,200 workers, and annual sales surpassing $50 million. Solomon Boscov retired and was succeeded by his son Albert "Albie" Boscov as head of the company in 1960. He bought Fowler, Dick and Walker, the Boston Store in 1980. One of Wilkes-Barre's last surviving downtown department stores, it was also Boscov's first multi-story store. Boscov's first joined the Philadelphia market in the late 1980s by inaugurating Ports of the World outlet stores. These stores would later be re-branded as Boscov's sometime in the mid-1990s.
Albert Boscov, the son of Solomon Boscov, retired and his nephew Kenneth Lakin was named the chairman and chief executive in 2006. Lakin led an aggressive development of the chain, opening ten new stores by 2008. The new stores did not work as expected. In August 2008, just before the 2008 economic downturn Boscov's was filed for bankruptcy. Al Boscov came out of retirement and regained control of the company. Ten stores were closed due to the financial problems. The company arose from bankruptcy in September 2009.
On February 10, 2007, Albert Boscov died from pancreatic cancer at the age of 87. His nephew, Jim Boscov, now heads the chain.