Boscov’s enjoys rousing opening

ST. CLAIRSVILLE – Boscov’s department store held its ribbon cutting Sunday at the Ohio Valley Mall.

In the first three days of business, Boscov’s took in more than a million dollars, which were considered rehearsal days. It took Boscov’s three weeks to set the store up.

“This is the nicest town we have ever been too,” said Albert Boscov, chairman and CEO, at the ribbon cutting. “The nicest part is that we saw so many of the same people that were here opening day or non-profit day. We had a mob of people.”

Boscov went on to say that the opening of the mall store means more than 350 jobs for people in the Ohio Valley.

“They are just wonderful people, they care. I think they will be an inspiration to you as they have been to me,” said Boscov. “We are the largest family-owned department store in America.”

In Boscov family stores, they are said to take in more than $1 billion in business. According to Boscov, they believe that it is because they are honest, fair and concerned about quality.

“We like St. Clairsville – it’s great to rehearse here,” Boscov said. “We made $1 million during our first three days. Now we’re ready to open.”

Boscov’s occupies an anchor space that is a former home to JC Penney, which opened a retail operation at The Highlands.

The Boscov stores are mainly located in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York.

“Ohio has been a big step for us,” Boscov said. “We are family and we pride ourselves on our ability to be family. In this community, we are more then just a store, we are going to help in any way we can.”

Also, at the ribbon cutting were The United Way, members of the St. Clairsville city council, Belmont County Commissioner Matt Coffland and members of the Caffaro family, owners of the mall.

United Way had its own ribbon cutting, with hundred dollars bill attached. Boscov’s raised money for the United Way during a pre-opening invitation event.

“Most stores make sure they take many, many weeks – months – to open,” Boscov said. “Our workers here had the store opened in three weeks. That tells you something about the quality of the workers here.”

Shirley Jones, a nationally known entertainer, was at the ribbon cutting and performed at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. She will be in the area until Thursday.

“I think Boscov’s will change the whole dynamic of the mall,” said George Diab, the mall property manager. “The first three days are an indication of what this is going to be. We’ve seen more traffic in the mall over the past three days than we have for quite some time.”

Van Dyne may be reached at