Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Hats Off To Al Boscov

Al Boscov has placed a big bet on the future. At a time when the pundits are writing about the demise of retail shopping and the devastating impact it will have on malls Al Boscov, 79, was able to stump for a bailout of his former chain operation. With the assistance of the chain's former president, Edwin Lakin,85, they brokered a deal which included public and private financing to buy the chain in the midst of bankruptcy proceedings. This article highlights the banks and governing bodies including the Commonwealth and Luzerne County that backed the plan to save the chain.

The Times Leader featured an article from Michael Rubinkam of the Associated Press on Al Boscov's passion for his former chain.

"“We spent 50 years building this damn thing,” Boscov said. “I didn’t want to see it go to nothing. I wanted to see it survive and live on.”

In Pennsylvania, Boscov’s now operates 24 stores and employs more than 5,000 people. Among them are ones in downtown Wilkes-Barre, at the Mall at Steamtown in Scranton and at Laurel Mall in the Hazleton area. Boscov’s also has stores in New York, New Jersey, Maryland and Delaware."

Detroit would learn a lesson by reading Al's story. He didn't need one Congressional hearing to rescue the chain.

Footnote: Michael Rubinkam broke the news that Lou Barletta was challenging Paul Kanjorski in the early part of this year. I met Michael at the WVIA studio before their debate.

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