BRIDGEPORT, W.Va. — Boscov’s will open the 50th store in their chain at the Meadowbrook Mall in a three-day grand opening event beginning Thursday.
Friday is Family Day, and Saturday is the official ribbon cutting and fireworks display. Sunday and Monday, the celebrations continue with entertainment like Elvis Presley Jr., balloon artistry, face painting, and special activities for kids.
Boscov’s CEO and Chairman Jim Boscov said their brick-and-mortar stores are fully stocked with helpful associates that he said online retailers can’t and will never be able to compete with. The company has a group of buyers that can acquire a wide variety of merchandise at competitive prices. Boscov said big box stores will stock maybe four to six coffee maker options, while Boscov’s is able to double or even triple that selection with items.
“Shopping is a social experience. You have a chance to interact with people; you go with your friends or you go with your family, and I don’t think that will ever go away,” Boscov said last week on MetroNews “Talkline”. “I think as long as you offer excellent service, great pricing, and a great assortment in a nice environment, people are going to want to be there.”
Many people in the area are already familiar with Boscov’s, and for most, it’s a special occasion-only event to make the trip. Boscov said, they are excited to be able to serve them in their own state with people that live in their communities.
“This is a wonderful market. This is a self-contained market, and we have people driving two hours to go to some of our other stores, and we can save them a drive,” Boscov said.
Thursday is themed as the first day of shopping, Charity Day—Shop for a Cause, according to Boscov. The charities sell the Boscov’s Charity Day pass for $5 that allows the shopper early entry for special deals, and the non-profit keeps 100 percent of the $5.
“We provide them with shopping passes; their supporters make a $5 donation to their organization, and they keep 100 percent of the $5,” Boscov said. “That shopping pass will get them in that Thursday before all the grand opening specials.”
The company has hired 220 local people that Boscov calls “empowered.” He said the hiring process was smooth and there appears to be a strong work ethic in the local labor market.
“Empowered means I can solve your problem. Empowered means if I see someone walking down the aisle carrying too many packages, I can say, Here, let me help you get that to the car or I can take that to Customer Pickup for you, and you can pick it up,” Boscov said.
Boscov said another important distinction is that they are a family-owned company, not publicly traded. That allows them to take chances on stocking items that people want, not items that are known to be strong sellers. The stores are also known for full-service departments that are stocked all year, not seasonally.
“Kids have birthdays 12 months out of the year, and we’ve got a toy department that is outstanding 12 months out of the year,” Boscov said. “And a candy department where you can walk up and pick your own assortment from bulk candy.”