The Boscov family, who purchased the assets of the 39-store Boscov’s chain out of bankruptcy in December, expects to have government loans and guarantees in place by June 2.
“We’re moving along well,” chairman Albert Boscov said last week after several encouraging developments. Those took the form of a $500,000 loan guarantee from Cedar Shopping Centers and a promise by Luzerne County, Pa., to backstop another $500,000 from Atlantic County, N.J., should the appropriation fail to get government approval.
Those funds, added to $35 million from Pennsylvania and the cities and counties where Boscov’s has anchor stores, combines with $1 million from New Jersey for a total close to the $40 million financing that is needed.
Fear of losing Boscov’s successful anchor stores appeared to drive last week’s deal-making. Atlantic County executive Dennis Levinson expects the county freeholder board “to weigh all the alternatives, none of which are good, and do the right thing.”
The alternative, he noted, would be a possible closing of Boscov’s stores, which could force mall closings. “A lot hinges on Mr. Boscov’s success. If he survives, there is no downside…there is a plus.”
Cedar Shopping chief executive officer Leo S. Ullman said, “We’ve known Al Boscov an awfully long, long time and we have a lot of faith in his having very, very good stores.” Boscov’s has units in Cedar malls in Egg Harbor, N.J., and Camp Hill, Pa.
The 97-year-old chain operates stores in five states: Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Maryland and Delaware. Boscov’s has been described as the largest family-owned, full-service department store chain in the U.S. The typical store serves smaller, middle-market communities.