Boscov’s kicks off Grand Opening for first store in West Virginia


Boscov’s kicks off West Virginia grand opening celebration with Charity Day shopping as thousands flock to see new store in Bridgeport’s Meadowbrook Mall



BRIDGEPORT, W.Va. (WV News) — The line to get into the Boscov’s location at Meadowbrook Mall on Thursday stretched down the sidewalk in both directions, filled with hundreds of shoppers eagerly waiting to be among the first inside the area’s newest department store.

Each of those in attendance paid $5 for a shopping pass that allowed them to participate in the store’s Charity Day. All the proceeds from the sale of the passes will benefit 175 local nonprofits.

“I’m absolutely thrilled,” said Jim Boscov, chairman and CEO of Boscov’s. “Certainly, it’s great to have a store full of people, but this is Charity Day. These are people who donated $5 to their favorite charity.”

Boscov had a very busy morning, which included greeting customers as they lined up outside and making periodic announcements over the store’s intercom system.

“People who have never seen us before are saying, ‘Wow, you guys really have everything.’ It’s a big store,” he said. “As busy as we are, we have about 220 co-workers that we’ve hired right from the area, plus we have another 150 that we’ve asked to come down from our other stores to help out. We’ve got lots of people to offer service.”

Wendy Imperial, a Bridgeport resident, said she’s been anticipating the opening of Boscov’s for several months.

“I walk every morning up here at the mall, so I’ve been watching the progress of stores moving and then this being built. I’m just thrilled that the day is finally here,” she said.

Imperial said she’s glad the mall was able to secure another anchor retailer after years of seeing stores move or relocate.

“So many times you see malls that are becoming obsolete. It’s so sad to see that square footage get emptied,” she said. “This is going to be an absolute boost in the arm of our community. All of the surrounding retailers are going to benefit from it. And we’re just thrilled that they chose this mall to come to and open a new store.”

Imperial used Boscov’s Charity Day to get a jump on her holiday shopping.

“I looked for some of the ‘door buster’ deals — I got some flashlights that I was looking for and then saw these that were on sale,” she said, holding up a decorative throw blanket. “I’m heading to women’s clothes to look at some things there that I’ve seen through the window as I’ve been walking.”

Harley Jeffries, a Bridgeport resident, said he’d also heard a lot about the Boscov’s opening.

“We’d been hearing about it for a while. It’s been underway and under construction. We’re always anxious — we’re a bunch of lookie-loos — to come see what’s what and what’s going on with the store and what all they have,” Jeffries said.

Thursday’s events kicked off Boscov’s Three-Day Grand Opening Celebration.

Friday will be Family Fun Day, featuring free family activities and entertainment. It will be the first opportunity for members of the public who didn’t purchase a Charity Day pass to shop in the store.

On Saturday, starting at 9:30 a.m., the Bridgeport High School marching band will kick off a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Brad Riffee, executive director of the United Way of Harrison and Doddridge Counties, and representatives of United Way member agencies will cut a special ribbon made of $100 bills for the agencies, plus a $1,000 bill for the United Way itself.

Saturday shoppers also can take in performances by Elvis Aaron Presley Jr., and Jason Lindsey, aka “Mr. Science.”

Senior Staff Writer Charles Young can be reached at 304-626-1447 or


Boscov’s to open 50th store; first in West Virginia



Boscov’s to open 50th store; first in West Virginia

Al Urbanski

Real Estate Editor & Manager – Chain Store Age

“We’re a family-owned business,” said CEO Jim Boscov. “We can make decisions to please the customer, not the stock market.”

The common word heard to describe department stores these days is “declining.”  But one chain that dates back to 1918 is expanding.

That was the year that Russian immigrant Solomon Boscov opened the first Boscov’s store in Reading, Penn. This week his grandson Jim Boscov announced signing the lease on the family-owned chain’s 50th store, at Meadowbrook Mall in Bridgeport, W.Va.

The Meadowbrook Mall location will be Boscov’s first store in West Virginia. The company’s other 49 stores  are found in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Ohio.

“We have the advantage of being a family-owned business. That means we can make decisions and work to please the customer, not the stock market,” said Jim Boscov, chairman and CEO. “We still believe in the traditional department store, where in one shopping trip, you can find everything you want.”

The latest Boscov’s is set to open this fall in a 151,000-sq.-ft. space at Meadowbrook, a Cafaro property. It will introduce the Mountain State to the merchandising philosophy that the company claims has kept it going for more than 100 years: fashions in both traditional labels and designer names, free gift wrap supplies, and a huge full-service candy department.

Boscov’s opened its first store outside of Pennsylvania at the Dover Mall in Delaware in 1982 and the company slowly continued expanding. often taking over the empty spaces of failed department stores.

In 2006, Solomon Boscov’s son Albert retired as CEO and was succeeded by his nephew Kenneth Lakin, who stepped up the pace. He acquired 10 stores vacated by Federated in 2008, but his timing was unfortunate. The Great Recession hit, the stores performed badly, and Boscov’s filed for Chapter 11.

Albert Boscov returned to the helm, pulled the chain out of bankruptcy protection, and slowly began rebuilding Boscov’s until he died at the age of 87 in 2017.  Jim Boscov, his nephew, then assumed the chief role and slowed down the expansion pace with a goal of opening one new store a year.

The Boscov family has always been actively involved with non-profit organizations within the communities its stores serve, and has already announced plans for a special event to benefitting local charities at its Meadowbrook grand opening.

“North Central West Virginia is going to see some very aggressive retailing that combines fun, fashion, community partnership, entertainment and service with jaw-dropping pricing throughout the store,” Boscov said.

Based in Reading, Penn., Boscov’s is the largest family-owned department store chain in the United States.



Huge Meadowbrook Mall Demolition Effort Underway to Set Way for New Anchor

Huge Meadowbrook Mall Demolition Effort Under Way Costing $600,000-Plus to Set Way for New Anchor by Jeff Toquinto on November 15, 2022

The process for getting Meadowbrook Mall ready for its “biggest merchant ever” is now taking a physical form.

For anyone who has been on the backside of the mall, or the portion facing Interstate 79, they may have noticed construction fencng up, construction equipment, and a giant hole in the structure that was the former home of Elder-Beerman.

According to Bridgeport Community Development Director Andrea Kerr, two permits were recently filed with the city to do the demolition. One, prior to the actual demolition was for asbestos abatement, and the second is for the actual demolition, which is taking place now. The permits were filed by Cafaro, the owner of the mall.

Kerr said Environmental Protection, which is the name of the company, is responsible for the asbestos abatement for $163,900. The demolition work is being handled by JJO Construction out of Mentor, Ohio. The work includes 11 units within the mall at a cost of $453,007.

"The most noticeable work is at the old Elder-Beerman building," said Kerr. "That will be home to Marshall's."

However, that does not mean Marshall’s is expanding into the entire store. Kerr said she believes the square footage Marshall’s will take over is roughly the same.

As for the 11 units, Kerr said they are scattered from one end to the other. Most of the units beyond the Elder-Beerman area involve the Sears building and properties around such as the soon-to-be-leaving JoANN Fabric.

“I’ve had a meeting with Cafaro recently and they provided us their plans for demolition and the new layout of what the footprint mall will look like going forward,” said Kerr. “While there were some changes and some stores have closed, other stores have decided to keep open and relocate to different portions of the mall and that speaks volumes for the future of the mall.”

Kerr said a permit for construction has not been filed for what is rumored to be Boscov’s but has not been confirmed by Cafaro. Cafaro said a formal announcement will likely come in early 2023.

“The new tenant we’re projecting will not only be a multi-million-dollar construction project, but it will be producing a strong stream of revenue in the form of dollars through B&O taxes,” said Kerr. “I can assure you that this project is definitely happening, and we’re hoping to see plans soon.”

Kerr said she said the business, which she did not disclose due to no official permit being filed for the business, could be open in the later portions of 2023.

Editor's Note: Photos show demolition taking place in the former Elder-Beerman building Monday.