Boscov’s delays opening at Eastwood by one year

NILES — Boscov’s has delayed the opening of its department store at the Eastwood Mall until October 2021 — about one year off schedule — citing challenges brought on by the viral outbreak, the Reading, Pa.-based retailer announced Wednesday.

“You only get one chance to introduce a new store the right way,” said Jim Boscov, chairman and CEO of Boscov’s, known for having lavish grand-opening ceremonies with fundraising events for local nonprofit organizations.

The company halted construction of the new store at the Cafaro Company-owned mall earlier this year during Ohio’s stay-at-home order. Construction has resumed, but with smaller crews and at a slower pace because of the outbreak and added time.

Some of the work now is happening on the roof.

“More than anything, we want to open with a bang and be as good as we can be,” Boscov said. “It really is a supply chain issue.”

The viral outbreak has and continues to present challenges in the consumer goods supply chain, disrupted for Boscov’s and other retailers when the virus struck and states instituted restrictions on movement and businesses to suppress the spread of COVID-19.

Makers of clothing and apparel, housewares, appliances, furniture and other items face difficulties, according to the company. Store closures, Boscov said, led vendors to call manufacturers to slow or even stop production.

In addition, Boscov’s had to restart operations at 48 other U.S. stores, from getting the merchandise pipeline flowing again to returning furloughed employees. Store expansion, remodeling and new construction took a back seat.

“They have had to concentrate a lot of their efforts on maintaining their existing stores, and we understand it was important for them do to that,” Joe Bell, director of corporate communications for Cafaro Company, said. “They have never wavered to their commitment to open the Eastwood Mall store.

“We’re behind them and they are behind the project, and we’re happy about that — just wishing it would happen sooner than later,” Bell said.

When it opens, Boscov’s, at more than 180,000 square feet, will become the largest single store inside the sprawling retail complex. It will occupy space of the former Sears stores and several other neighboring stores that were relocated inside the mall.

The nation’s largest family-owned department store chain in its 106th year, Boscov’s operates in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Ohio. The other Boscov’s in Ohio is at Cafaro-owned Ohio Valley Mall in St. Clairesville.

The two companies also partnered for a store at Mill Creek Mall in Erie, Pa. Coincidentally, it also occupies a former Sears store.


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