NEW YORK — Albert Boscov, chairman of Boscov’s Inc., and president Edwin Lakin announced their retirements Monday from the $1.1 billion retail chain, which is among the few remaining family-owned and operated U.S. department stores.
Ken Lakin, the son of Edwin Lakin and nephew of Albert Boscov who has been running the department store as chief executive officer, is stepping up as chairman and ceo of the corporation, the holding company for the department stores.
The 40-unit Reading, Pa.-based chain said that the company won’t be sold and that 10 new stores are planned during the next several years. Boscov’s said it had recapitalized from being 100 percent family owned to 95 percent family owned, with 5 percent now in the hands of nonfamily management.
Boscov, 76, is the son of Solomon Boscov, a Russian immigrant who founded the company in 1911 by selling goods from a horse-drawn wagon. Like his father, Boscov has maintained a passionate selling style for decades, stocking his stores with everything from garden supplies, sporting goods, luggage, furniture, apparel and accessories to homemade fudge. Most department stores have eliminated many of those categories.
“We spent a lot of time over the past 18 months studying our strategic alternatives, including a sale of the business, and concluded that remaining family-owned and operated was much better than a sale from the perspective of our customers, employees, vendors and the communities we have been fortunate enough to have been part of over the years,” Boscov said in a statement.
“After a five-year management transition, Al and I are retiring and passing the baton to a seasoned group of managers,” Edwin Lakin said.
The management team includes Burton Krieger, president and chief merchandise officer; executive vice president Sam Flamholz, merchandise planning and control; Russell Diehm, chief financial officer; Peter Lakin, chief financial administrator and a brother of Ken Lakin, and Ken’s wife, Maralyn Lakin, senior vice president of marketing, public relations and Internet.
Reading-based Griffin Financial Group LLC provided financial and strategic advisory services, including a strategic alternatives study, and served as investment banker throughout the recapitalization process. Bank of America N.A. and Back Bay Capital Funding LLC provided the financing.