Today, Boscov’s is America’s largest family-owned department store. But like all family businesses, its beginning was small and humble.

by Jim Boscov

At only 18, Solomon Boscov left his family in Russia and immigrated to the United States in 1914. He settled in Reading, PA, where the Yiddish he spoke at home was similar to the German spoken by the Pennsylvania Dutch farmers throughout Berks and Lancaster County. With a pack on his back and with the few dollars he had, he began peddling household goods to the farm families in the surrounding area. He developed a reputation for fairness and honesty. As his business and reputation grew, he was able to buy the dry goods store that had provided the merchandise he peddled, and the first Boscov’s Department Store was established. It was a true neighborhood store providing honest pricing and quality merchandise to the community in good times and through the bad times of the depression.

The core principles established by Solomon continue to be the keys to success today.

A Vast Selection of Quality Merchandise Including Your Favorite Brands

Unlike other “department stores” that only carry apparel, we offer a full range of departments, including toys, candy, and small appliances. Within each department, we offer a broader assortment of products at a wider range of prices than you’re likely to find elsewhere. That means that if you’re shopping for coffee makers, you’ll find twenty-five models at prices to satisfy the gourmet coffee connoisseur as well as the bargain hunter. The same holds true whether you’re buying outerwear or a dress – a larger selection at prices to please everyone.

Incredible Pricing

We believe that it’s about how much you sell and not the margin you make on each item. If you sell enough, profitability takes care of itself. We know our pricing is good because we do so much business in Texas and California – but we don’t have stores in Texas or California. Here’s what happens – online shoppers search for an item on a competitive shopping tool, and Boscov’s comes out on top. They place the order; we ship it to them – even in areas that don’t know what a Boscov’s is.

Knowledgeable and friendly coworkers provide the kind of customer service that’s hard to find anymore

Don’t tell the competition but having helpful coworkers on the sales floor is an asset. There’s nothing more frustrating than having an item you’re ready to purchases and having to look for a salesperson to ring it up. Buying from a real person who is knowledgeable and empowered to help is a better experience than buying from Alexa.

Commitment to Community Involvement

We’re your neighborhood family store. We live here, we work here, and we play here. It’s only natural that we should be a part of the community. Our store openings reflect our commitment to the community. Grand openings include a day devoted to raising money for the community non-profits. And that’s just the beginning. We have an ongoing partnership that brings these organizations into the store for meetings, fashion shows, and classes throughout the year. For example, we recently held a family health and wellness event for young families that brought in eighteen different organizations offering information and demonstrations on things from mommy and baby yoga to financial planning for college.

We know that shopping is social. People like to shop with a friend and family. While some commodities can certainly be bought online, if you’re shopping for a dress, it’s important to see how it moves when you walk and how the color goes with your complexion.

We believe that what happens on the sales floor is more important than what happens in an office. The customer tells us what we need to do. As a result, all of our executives spend lots of time visiting stores and listening to our customers and coworkers

We open one store a year, and we hire about 300 new coworkers in the process. In addition, we ask over one hundred of our seasoned coworkers to spend time both before the new store opens and after the store opens, working side by side with new members of the team. We believe you teach the culture of a company by example, not from a handbook.

As a privately-owned family business, we have the luxury of being able to make smart decisions for the long-term health of the company. Working for the customer and not for the market gives us added flexibility and allows us to make decisions that are right for the customers and ultimately better for the business.

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